the PORTGATE thread, where do you stand?


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gunsmith
February 21, 2006, 08:10 PM
GW has said he would veto any legal objection to this deal.
I for one didn't know that the UK was in charge before the new sale to the UAE I am against any foriegn country in charge of the ports
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/P/PORTS_SECURITY?SITE=7219&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2006-02-21-16-26-11
I can't understand why the Whitehouse is handing the Dems a perfect issue to defeat them in 06 & 08.

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progunner1957
February 21, 2006, 08:17 PM
I am basically pro-Bush; I think he is on the money about alot of facets of the national security issue.

However... This deal absolutely has got to go. Lemmeseehere - let a company owned by the government of United Arab Emirates "manage" our six largest ports, ports being our largest vulnerability??

NO FREAKING WAY!!! :fire: :fire: As Dr. Phil says, "What the hell were you thinking?!?!?!"

What's next - let the government of Iran run the Department of Homeland Security??

RealGun
February 21, 2006, 08:22 PM
Where I stand is that "Portgate" is off topic for THR. Guns? Civil liberties? Nope.

joab
February 21, 2006, 08:25 PM
I'm against foriegn ownership of anything in the US
But even if I wasn't I can't see this being a good idea, I certainly can't see this being a sound political strategy.

Merkin.Muffley
February 21, 2006, 08:33 PM
Where I stand is that "Portgate" is off topic for THR. Guns? Civil liberties? Nope.

I'm with Realgun - we shouldn't have discussions that make President Bush look like a fool. In general, he's on our side with the 2nd Amendment - no reason to bash our allies.

MGshaggy
February 21, 2006, 08:35 PM
I certainly can't see this being a sound political strategy.

Unless the strategy is to give the Congressional republicans an issue with which to distance themselves from Bush in preparation of the next election. If Congress acts (with bipartisan support) to prevent the sale, Bush vetos it, and then Congress overrides the veto, a lot of republicans will be able to eliminate that issue from the democrats election arsenal. Bush's ratings are down and by association he can drag down the party with him. Since Bush is untouchable at this point (he's in his 2nd term), the strategy may be to let him be the sacrificial lamb to save the party. Unfortunately, I don't think the republican party is that smart.

mp510
February 21, 2006, 08:53 PM
You know, I totally don't think that it is a big deal who is operating the ports. The US Government is still in charge of security. The workers will be the same, and they are mainly US citizens. The only difference will be which foreign country runs the show. Dubai Ports LTD, runs ports all over the world, and they have not yet had an incident.

Biker
February 21, 2006, 08:57 PM
Where I stand is that "Portgate" is off topic for THR. Guns? Civil liberties? Nope.
National security or the lack thereof could certainly have an impact on civil liberties. Yes?
Biker

Thain
February 21, 2006, 08:57 PM
From one foreign owner to another. Call me a radical capitalist, but I don't see how it makes one lick of difference. The Dubai corporation will be held to the same standards, statutes, and oversight as the British one.

Now, wheter or not the current standards are adequete is another matter. Port security in this country sucks, and everyone knows it.

Preacherman
February 21, 2006, 09:05 PM
I don't see any problem with a Dubai company owning a British company that sub-contracts to an American entity to operate our ports. Consider:

1. Britain has at least as many Islamic radicals (including mad bombers) as Dubai, possibly more. They could have come over here working for P&O as easily as they could working for anyone else.

2. The USA still has to issue visas for anyone coming to work here. This should serve as a check on Dubai nationals just as easily as US nationals - and there are already many thousands of Dubai nationals here, studying and working.

3. We can't apply a double standard. If US companies are allowed to operate in Dubai, then Dubai companies must be allowed to operate here. It works both ways.

4. I don't see the Dubai company as being in any way eager to assist terrorists - after all, they'll be making billions of dollars from their US operations, so it's in their own best interests to make sure that their US staff are reliable, loyal and completely non-terrorist (or better yet, anti-terrorist) in outlook.

I think this is a storm in a teacup, and is being stirred up by those who "feel", rather than those who actually think about the realities of the situation.

BigRobT
February 21, 2006, 10:07 PM
Having been deployed to the UAE during Desert Shield, I think I would trust them as much, if not more than the Saudis. Reading what Preacherman said, I think he just may be right. Even now, we can only inspect 6% of the cargo containers, if that.

longhorngunman
February 21, 2006, 10:17 PM
Gee, let's let an American company run the ports, oh yeah, there are NONE! Only three companies can run ports on the scale that is needed: One is based in Singapore, the other is China, and then the UAE based. I and most others don't like the choices but that's it. Do you want a very Muslim country of Singapore running it, Do you want the Red Commies of China running it, or do you want the Arabs of the UAE running it, take your pick.:neener:

strambo
February 21, 2006, 10:20 PM
I voted we have nothing to worry about, but it is a poor choice of words. We have plenty to worry about with port security, but a Dubai company managing the port facilities doesn't matter.

Security is handled by US personnel only (mainly Coast Guard) and the Dubai company has nothing to do with it. What could happen differently? A terrorist could pay a dockworker to tell them their observations and procedures the same as if they worked for "Mom and Apple Pie USA, Inc." The workers will be mostly US citizens and get background checks. Because the number of containers checked is so small, you don't need a complicated conspiracy involving the parent company that runs the Port. Just send 2-3 shipments of contraband, 1 ought to get through. Look at the success of the "Drug War" and fighting illegal immigration (the ones from overseas). Plenty of both get through.

I wonder if the Pres could even stop it? If a Dubai Co. bought out a British one that already had the contract...what can we do? It's hard to tell the details by the news, they make it sound like we handed Port security over to a Dubai Company (or Bin Laden himself by the tone).:rolleyes:

strambo
February 21, 2006, 10:21 PM
Longhorn, I'd pick Singapore in a heartbeat, I've been there great place. Not really 'Muslim" at all.

Jeff White
February 21, 2006, 10:21 PM
I am against any foreign person or company being in charge of strategic assets. Back in the bad old days of the cold war this wouldn't have come up, because we had formal programs in place to keep that from happening.

No nation should allow anyone else to control something as vital as port facilities, production facilities for war material or food.

As far as I know we only maintain a strategic petroleum reserve. We may still buy and stockpile other raw materials, and I'm just not aware of it.

We don't maintain control of the means of producing our high tech weapons. I wonder just what would happen if we were unfortunate enough to get into a mid-intensity conflict somewhere and all of a sudden have to start replacing major end items like tanks and aircraft at a very high rate. I don't believe we could anymore.

The global economy may be a great thing for your 401K, but the resultant lack of control of the means to produce weapons could mean that we may see a fundamental change in our way of life.

Jeff

IndianaDean
February 21, 2006, 10:58 PM
I'm against it also. I do not want any foreign power, whether it's the UAE, England or anyone else controlling our ports.

Old Dog
February 21, 2006, 11:17 PM
Interesting how few people know that the Port of Seattle is run by foreign interests.

308win
February 21, 2006, 11:21 PM
Much ado about nothing.

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 11:25 PM
Lack of homegrown capacity to manage our ports is a symptom of a much bigger problem that "Portgate" has, thankfully, awakened us to. Rather than cede control of vital interests in perpetuity to foreign interests we need to do what's necessary to develop the skills to get this situation under control. This is like saying we don't have enough engineers so let's just forget about it and hire foreign talent. We piss away billions and billions on stupid stuff, we waste infinite amounts of time on nonsense, but we don't have the will to steer our own national ship? This is just one Big Problem America is either going to start coming to terms with or slowly but surely perish.

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 11:35 PM
Where I stand is that "Portgate" is off topic for THR. Guns? Civil liberties? Nope.

Let me get this straight, man. Secret committees are deciding national security matters without Congressional oversight, without public knowledge, and you don't see this as affecting civil liberties?

Which "secret committee" is going to decide that private citizens should no longer be trusted owning firearms? Will that get your attention?

progunner1957
February 21, 2006, 11:50 PM
Even now, we can only inspect 6% of the cargo containers, if that.
Like 6% is going to make a difference...:barf: We should be inspecting 100%, just like we inspect 100% of what goes on commercial airliners.

How about we all just wear hats that say "Kill me, please!":fire: :fire:

CAnnoneer
February 21, 2006, 11:53 PM
I can't understand why the Whitehouse is handing the Dems a perfect issue to defeat them in 06 & 08.

That is the $ 1M question, ins't it?

My take on it:
The backroom strategists know that the country is in trouble due to their ministrations, and want to dump the inevitable fallout onto somebody else's watch. They have dined well - it is time to leave before the bill arrives...

Byron Quick
February 21, 2006, 11:54 PM
The biggest danger to our ports is that Congress has refused to fund the various security agencies at the necessary levels to adequately perform their functions. Until this happens, it doesn't really matter who is running various port terminals.

Before you jump on the 'no foreign control of strategic assets' bandwagon, it might be a good idea to list what foreign strategic assets are controlled or owned by US companies.

After all, when we run foreign companies out of certain areas of our economy, the least we can expect is that the foreign countries reciprocate.

taliv
February 22, 2006, 12:00 AM
+1 preacherman


i have yet to hear any argument on the 'con' side that even comes close to being persuasive.


i'll grant jeff white that we don't want foreign interests controlling strategic assets, but are 6 terminals, out of all the ports and terminals we have, really strategic?

there are two potential negative possibilities: bad guys use their position to deny service to us in a crisis (e.g. a war), or bad guys use their position to sneak something in.

in the former, we'd just turn management over to someone else and keep on trucking. for the latter, the ports are unsecure now, so what's changed?



edit: the only stupid thing the bush admin did here was think they could pull this off in secret back-room deals without the public finding out. every move they make continues to reinforce the American public's fear that Bush is a dictator-wannabe

Kodiaz
February 22, 2006, 12:16 AM
Ok lets suppose I'm a UAE port running terrorist. I get to see what ships get checked, what times they get checked, and what they get checked for. Now with this informatio I stick my container with the bad stuff on the most righteous incoming ship which gets to dock at the time when the least gets done (let's say 3 AM) the container gets through unchecked because I run the port so I know what gets done how it gets done and when it gets done all I have to do is look at the ship dock times and see what ship time and cargo type is least likely to arouse suspicion and stick my container with the nukes, poison, or whatever on it.


Step 2 Haji Habib who crossed the border months ago with some Guatemalans picks up the container and takes it to his cell. They walked across the desert or even better were escorted across by the corrupt Mex military.


If they are running the ports they are going to have tons of information on when ships arrive, what the customs procedures are how many containers get checked and what types of cargo and what delivery times are most likely to get opened by customs. Using this Info they can try a get a container through with their stuff.


It will only take one container for them to do heavy damage.



Nothing to see here king jorge has a plan.

shecky
February 22, 2006, 12:17 AM
As usual, gun owners spout off like a bunch of fascists. Why not let capitalism work?

Bush has been making a fool of himself for the last five years, but this is one of the few issues that actually has some reason behind it. Of course, you can count on Bush to screw it up somehow. In this case, by completely misreading the reaction to the deal. Surely, someone in the Administration must have known it wouldn't play well with either red state/redneck peons, and protectionist liberals.

cgjunk2
February 22, 2006, 12:43 AM
The biggest danger to our ports is that Congress has refused to fund the various security agencies at the necessary levels to adequately perform their functions. Until this happens, it doesn't really matter who is running various port terminals.

Before you jump on the 'no foreign control of strategic assets' bandwagon, it might be a good idea to list what foreign strategic assets are controlled or owned by US companies.


I ask the following question because I do not know, I don't ask it to be a jerk. How many US assets of this magnitude of strategic importance are owned by actual foreign governments? I am not asking about private or public companies owned by people of different nationalities or based in different countries.

Off the top of my head, I think Venezuala's govnt owns much if not all of Citgo refineries, which operates heavily in the US. Depending on how much we rely on Citgo, this might be a big problem for us in the future.

I realize there might not be that much "business" difference between a government run business, and a traditional private or public company. But surely there is great symbolic importance, at the very least, in allowing foreign governments to control such assets. Symbolism is a way of communicating. What are we communicating to other governments that might not be as friendly as the UAE. You don't have to fight us, just buy us?

I am not sure what the answer is... Some say protectionism is bad, and I agree with that thought on many levels. But there must be exceptions to every rule, right? Maybe it just comes down to "gut checks". China's recent bid to buy lots of refining capacity in the US didn't pass the "gut check" if you know what I mean. I guess a lot comes down to trust. I don't know, it is hard for me to get my thoughts straight on this, this is frustrating to think about...:( principally because I may be thinking about putting limits on what we traditionally as American have taken much pride in, a free society. We know that protectionism, isolationalism, and excessive sense of nationalism, can be part of the same continuum. We don't want to head down the wrong end of that continuum, because add a little bit of fear in the populous, and the results are not pretty.

Maybe that is why getting too philosophical over this may not help. If our adminstration likes you, you get to play, if we don't like you, then go back home. I guess that is called "politics" Apparently this adminstration likes the UAE. Maybe with good reason, they seem to be a moderate people, definately different culturally, but they seem quite measured from what I understand. Unfortunately it just seems to hit a real raw nerve at this time for too many people. "Politically tone deaf" was one way I heard it described in the news. If the UAE at all cared about us as a business partner, they would understand themselves that the timing is all wrong for this stuff to work out politically (right or wrong, it is unfortunately the case).

Cellar Dweller
February 22, 2006, 12:45 AM
If no U.S. companies can make money running ports, how can a foreign-state run company make money running ports if they must adhere to U.S. law? If UAE is buying goodwill and burning cash, what's really in it for them?

"Trust me," the words of every used-car salesman and teenager who later is found drunk/stoned/pregnant. Isn't trust supposed to be earned, rather than assumed? Isn't the well dry after "Good-job Brownie" and Harriet Miers and no WMDs and Medicare "reform" and No Child Left Behind?

Jeff White
February 22, 2006, 12:46 AM
shecky,
Please explain to this red state peon :fire: how allowing foreign control of strategic assets is good for the security of the nation?

Allow capitolism to work and everything will be all right? You mean like letting Loral Space Systems to sell ballistic missile technology to China? The so called Americans who sit on the boards of many of these large corporations are no more concerned about the security of the United States of America then the Democratic National Committee or the mainstream media.

How many of their underlings have gone to prison over the years for violating export restrictions and selling or attempting to sell sensitive technology to our enemies? We have Loral Space Systems selling ballistic missile technology to the Chinese at the top, although that was done with collusion of the administration at the time, to Galls, a police supply company in Lexington KY exporting night vision and body armor to Iran at the bottom of the scale. The only flag they are loyal to is the profit side of the quarterly report.

I know that the stockholders of General Dynamics and United Defense Technolgy must have just bristled with rage that our archaic laws didn't allow them to sell their latest (often developed at taxpayer expense) to the Soviets and their client states.

What do you think your corporate earnings will look like once they nationalize you at gunpoint after you sell everything to our enemies.

Jeff

Cellar Dweller
February 22, 2006, 12:57 AM
but are 6 terminals, out of all the ports and terminals we have, really strategic?

So you'd have no problem with a company owned and run by the Mexican government taking over border control and INS in Arizona? After all it's only one state of fifty, is it really strategic?

How about a Syrian state-owned company taking over operations of nuclear power plants? The security will still be American, after all...

dmallind
February 22, 2006, 01:05 AM
Differences between current and potential "foreign owned" scenarios:


British COMPANY vs. UAE Government owned entity
UK did not recognize and support Taliban
UK did not serve as "anything goes" banking haven for Al Qaeda and Bin Laden even AFTER 9/11


It's nothing to do with Muslim vs. non Muslim. I would be just fine with, say, a Turkish COMPANY getting control of terminal operations, but I would be less than fine with a state controlled entity of any country doing so.

Capitalism has nothing to do with a foreign power controlling ports. Even a UAE company would not be so bad, but the outfit in question is a company in name only and is a nationalized entity (you know the REAL meaning of socialist - as opposed to the THR definition of anyone who supports income taxes and Federal regulations of any kind)

stevelyn
February 22, 2006, 01:28 AM
Where I stand is that "Portgate" is off topic for THR. Guns? Civil liberties? Nope.

If this deal eventually leads to facilitating a terror attack you can bet your arse it'll be guns and civil liberties related, as every jackass lawmamaker will be introducing bills to take away your guns and someone will find the need to expand the unPATRIOT Act.:fire: :banghead:

gunsmith
February 22, 2006, 01:37 AM
I must say though I've been getting called a redneck a whole heck of alot lately, being as I was born in Manhatten (the "New York" in new york new york) ...I am slowly learning the things that would make any redneck proud...like fixing my own pick up truck and having a truck gun and duct tape on hand. I guess I'm as much a redneck as any New Yorker can be and consider it an honor to be called one :evil: :D...........

one thing that was just made aware of is Bush never vetoed anything even the mccain feingold anti free speech thing and other liberal attacks...but he will veto a law that protects our ports??
why???

Autolycus
February 22, 2006, 04:21 AM
I am basically pro-Bush; I think he is on the money about alot of facets of the national security issue.

However... This deal absolutely has got to go. Lemmeseehere - let a company owned by the government of United Arab Emirates "manage" our six largest ports, ports being our largest vulnerability??

NO FREAKING WAY!!! :fire: :fire: As Dr. Phil says, "What the hell were you thinking?!?!?!"

What's next - let the government of Iran run the Department of Homeland Security??

Well we could let the Mexican Government run the Immigration Department...

DRZinn
February 22, 2006, 04:30 AM
He's a step ahead of you on that one...

Autolycus
February 22, 2006, 04:32 AM
shecky,
Please explain to this red state peon :fire: how allowing foreign control of strategic assets is good for the security of the nation?

Allow capitolism to work and everything will be all right? You mean like letting Loral Space Systems to sell ballistic missile technology to China? The so called Americans who sit on the boards of many of these large corporations are no more concerned about the security of the United States of America then the Democratic National Committee or the mainstream media.

How many of their underlings have gone to prison over the years for violating export restrictions and selling or attempting to sell sensitive technology to our enemies? We have Loral Space Systems selling ballistic missile technology to the Chinese at the top, although that was done with collusion of the administration at the time, to Galls, a police supply company in Lexington KY exporting night vision and body armor to Iran at the bottom of the scale. The only flag they are loyal to is the profit side of the quarterly report.

I know that the stockholders of General Dynamics and United Defense Technolgy must have just bristled with rage that our archaic laws didn't allow them to sell their latest (often developed at taxpayer expense) to the Soviets and their client states.

What do you think your corporate earnings will look like once they nationalize you at gunpoint after you sell everything to our enemies.

Jeff
Excellent Post.

Did Galls really sell NV and Body Armor to Iran?

Autolycus
February 22, 2006, 04:37 AM
My feeling is that our ports should be run by US companies. No foreign investors. I think that since this has the potential to backfire it should be scrutinized highly. If this company wanted to manufacture cars or run restaurants I would be ok. As the risk is not that great to National Security. I think if a country (whether its Iran or Belguim or whoever) is not smart enough to hold on to their own "strategic assets" then I am not gonna pity them when it backfires. I dont mind the globalization that much but this could be a big mistake.

Its things like this that are causing me to split from the Republican Party. I will not vote democrat either. I will vote Libertarian from now on.

longhorngunman
February 22, 2006, 08:02 AM
Tecumseh, you may want the ports run by US companies, I would like it to. There ain't no US countries to run the ports, that's all there is to it. You got three choices take your pick. I bet if they would have selected China instead of the UAE everybody would still be upset by it.:rolleyes: Gotta make the best with the cards your delt. And the UAE has been very cooperative with the WOT and yes this is probably one of the rewards that they've earned, simple politics that goes on every day.

RealGun
February 22, 2006, 08:42 AM
National security or the lack thereof could certainly have an impact on civil liberties. Yes?
Biker

I look at it this way...should gun owners in particular have an interest in the topic, one any different than someone with no interest in guns or any other reason for subscribing to THR? Bringing every new political newsbite to the board regardless means there are no boundaries, no sense of being "on topic". The other criteria is to ask whether THR would be the best place to find such discussions. Actually most of it can be found anywhere, and guns need never come into the discussion.

The other part of it is whether anyone has drawn any connection to civil liberties. Otherwise we just rationalize why it is okay to bring the topic to THR. We aren't talking about guns or anything of the sort. What we do is slip into a pile-on re the administration. I can get that anywhere on the internet. In the process, we also make this fertile ground for trolls who probably don't even have a gun or any interest in owning one.

Spot77
February 22, 2006, 08:48 AM
I work in Baltimore and I deal directly with P and O Ports as a vendor.

I can tell you that:

A: If a terrorist wanted to do harm to the port or use the port to transport something evil, it would be NO PROBLEM at all even without the sale to the UAE company. We frequently deliver truckloads of paint, solvents (MEK, Toluene, Naptha, R7k51, and oodles of other nasty things) to the Port without much more than a courtesy stop to see the driver's license. No inspection of the truck, nothing more than a glance at a driver's license. Much of what we ship there gets used there, and a lot of it gets shipped overseas.

B: The actual security of the Dundalk and Seagirt Marine Terminals is handled by Md Transportation Police and a local private security company. This will not change. The Coast Guard and Baltimore City and County Police Marine Units patrol the waters around the port.

C. P and O Ports, although recently bought by another larger company has been an escellent customer regarding business transactions. All paperwork is in order and payments are always made in 15 days or less. I REALLY hope this doesn't change :evil:

Draw your own conclusions from this info, but I personally don't see too much concern for alarm yet. I'm sure a lot of changes will need to be made, but would we be in an uproar if this were an Isreali company or Brazillian? No, it's an Arab company, and this Arab company happens to be in a very friendly, stable nation.

Camp David
February 22, 2006, 09:17 AM
This port issue deal only surfaced becuase the Democrats lost traction on the Cheney story... Consider: Most Americans are perfectly happy letting China manufacture our automobile brake pads; you think we should worry at all about UAE unloading tankers at our ports containing more brake pads?

It's a non-story... more Democrats making hay about nothing....

1911 guy
February 22, 2006, 09:20 AM
We've been on friendly terms with the UAE and the brits who now operate those ports, but I think it is a bad idea in general to have any other nation administrating our ports. Wonder who's in charge of all the other ports not affected by this deal?

Spot77
February 22, 2006, 10:01 AM
We also thought it was a bad idea to relenquish control of the Panama Canal.

Deep down I still think it was a mistake, but it hasn't been of any consequence yet. Just like gungrabbers claimed the streets would flow with blood.......

MechAg94
February 22, 2006, 11:15 AM
I think this is much noise about nothing. It seems like the reactions are 1) we don't want any foreigners controlling the ports, and 2) we can't trust any muslims to do anything sensitive.

If it is #1 - Why are you getting upset now? This has been going on for years. It is nothing new from this administration.

If it is #2 - Well, then there is no solution. Just ignore any and all efforts to build actual allies in the middle east and paint them all with the same brush. I am sure that will work.

Someone mentioned "secret committees" above. Do you mean the President and his cabinet? or the FTC? The executive branch pretty much has control over this decision. Given that it is one foreign company selling out to another foreign company, I am not sure there is anything we can do about it.

TheEgg
February 22, 2006, 11:35 AM
Donning my Nomex.:D

1. The ports have been run by a foreign owned company for years.
2. There is no actual EVIDENCE that the UAE company would in any way run the ports differently than the British company.
3. The UAE has been very cooperative in the fight against terrorism.
4. Security is handled by our own security agencies, not the port company.
5. The Democrats and Republicans have jumped on this as an easy way to garner public support by appealing to the racist and xenophobic tendencies of many Americans. Both are looking for any way to dump on Bush, as his popularity numbers shrink.
6. The irony of Democrats, of all people, objecting to this, is overwhelming.
7. Killing this sort of deal will play right into the hands of our enemies in the global propaganda war (that we are losing badly, by the way!).

Bring me some kind of EVIDENCE that the new owner of the port company is in any way going to compromise security, and then we have an issue.

Otherwise, this is all just a cheap political grand stand play, reeking of racism. If you buy into this, then let us go around and make sure that none of our security or strategic assests have any Arabs in them at all -- after all, they MIGHT be a security liability. No evidence needed, just the fact that they are Arab/Muslim will do.:barf:

<Hunkering down now!>

RealGun
February 22, 2006, 12:12 PM
Donning my Nomex.:D

1. The ports have been run by a foreign owned company for years.
2. There is no actual EVIDENCE that the UAE company would in any way run the ports differently than the British company.
3. The UAE has been very cooperative in the fight against terrorism.
4. Security is handled by our own security agencies, not the port company.
5. The Democrats and Republicans have jumped on this as an easy way to garner public support by appealing to the racist and xenophobic tendencies of many Americans. Both are looking for any way to dump on Bush, as his popularity numbers shrink.
6. The irony of Democrats, of all people, objecting to this, is overwhelming.
7. Killing this sort of deal will play right into the hands of our enemies in the global propaganda war (that we are losing badly, by the way!).

Bring me some kind of EVIDENCE that the new owner of the port company is in any way going to compromise security, and then we have an issue.

Otherwise, this is all just a cheap political grand stand play, reeking of racism. If you buy into this, then let us go around and make sure that none of our security or strategic assests have any Arabs in them at all -- after all, they MIGHT be a security liability. No evidence needed, just the fact that they are Arab/Muslim will do.:barf:

<Hunkering down now!>

Nice to know that there are still reasonable, objective people on THR. Skepticism is fine in my opinion, but kneejerk negativism is not.

Manedwolf
February 22, 2006, 01:08 PM
Having been deployed to the UAE during Desert Shield, I think I would trust them as much, if not more than the Saudis. Reading what Preacherman said, I think he just may be right. Even now, we can only inspect 6% of the cargo containers, if that.

Most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals. Saudi Arabia has been off-limits in the investigation.

Money to them was funneled through Dubai. The UAE DID NOT COOPERATE in the post-9/11 investigation of bank transfers.

Dubai's OWN ports have been a major transfer point for illegal nuclear materials going to Iran and Libya.

Give them control of ours? Brilliant!

Manedwolf
February 22, 2006, 01:10 PM
Donning my Nomex.:D

Otherwise, this is all just a cheap political grand stand play, reeking of racism. If you buy into this, then let us go around and make sure that none of our security or strategic assests have any Arabs in them at all -- after all, they MIGHT be a security liability. No evidence needed, just the fact that they are Arab/Muslim will do.:barf:

<Hunkering down now!>

It just absolutely astonishes me when people supporting "anything the administration does" will one day scream and froth to "nuke all'em mooslems", and then the next, find nothing wrong with turning over port security to "mooslems".

I have to wonder at that sort...which is it?

Leatherneck
February 22, 2006, 01:20 PM
I was discussing this with my boss at breakfast, and his take was: "Why would we do this?" My put was: "What's the problem?" What we came to was OPSEC: operational security might be jeopardized if Dubai HQ routinely got a listing of, say, each container ship's arrival date and scheduled berth. Who knows where that schedule would wind up after reaching Dubai? Of course, the same could be said about London, or any city for that matter.

I really think that security of our maritime infrastructure has problems much worse than who owns corporate HQ.

TC

fourays2
February 22, 2006, 01:50 PM
this is just the latest example of bush stepping on his thingy. I don't see how he can consistantly read the mood of the public so badly. He needs to be told in no uncertain terms that people are wise to all the civil liberty infringements his WoT is causing and they no longer trust him. People are starting to realize what a joke the WoT is when we have examples like this and the wide open borders, yet we are to accept more intrusions on our individual liberties? I don't think so, and neither do a lot of other people.

TheEgg
February 22, 2006, 02:05 PM
and then the next, find nothing wrong with turning over port security to "mooslems".

This is NOT being proposed. Security will still be handled in exactly the same fashion as before.

Now, if you want me to Bash Bush on something, I will be happy to criticize the pathetic state of port security under the Bush Admin. But, it is still a separate issue from the port contracts.

longeyes
February 22, 2006, 02:35 PM
People are finally connecting the dots, that's all. It's understandable we want to believe that Bush has our best interests at heart. What leaps out at me from all this is Bush's behavior.

longeyes
February 22, 2006, 02:56 PM
We now have three threads going on this subject (I started the first one days ago). Maybe we need to conflate?

But permit me to re-post what I said the other day:

"The anger is about more than national security danger, yes; it's even, I believe, more than about the U.S. being sold off to foreigners. It is about a sense of betrayal and violation at the deepest level, something beyond just a rational assessment of risks and rewards. A bit of shock and awe, if you will, at suddenly discovering the true nature of someone purporting to be their leader and on whom they realize they are dependent for their survival. Bush's failure to grasp what's wrong (secretiveness again), his immediate reaction (stonewalling), compounded now by intransigence (threatened veto) suggests an arrogant rogue President who is in a state of total disconnect from the citizens who elected him.

Bush is in grave danger of Caligulizing himself before our very eyes."

Americans are suddenly becoming aware of how much has already been ceded to foreign interests under the guise of "free trade." This is a wake-up call and coming out of a deep sleep can be difficult.

I find the charges of "racism" to be absurd and insulting in light of the realities of the world situation, past, present, and future.

Lastly, a President who can't secure our southern border has no business preaching about national security issues ANYWHERE. That's my view, and I'm sticking to it.

hso
February 22, 2006, 03:09 PM
They're just a logistics management company like the U.S., Danish, U.K., Dutch, Chinese, based corporations that currently manage the port operations at 90% of western and half of east coast ports. They won't OWN anything except the contract to lease the facilities and handle logistics for the port. They won't have sole control of security at the facilities either since they have to have a government approved security plan that gets audited by the fed and state/locality gov. as well as U.S. Customs, Homeland Security and USCG presence on site.

The noise coming from Hillary is just that, noise.

CAnnoneer
February 22, 2006, 03:13 PM
A bit of shock and awe, if you will, at suddenly discovering the true nature of someone purporting to be their leader and on whom they realize they are dependent for their survival. Bush's failure to grasp what's wrong (secretiveness again), his immediate reaction (stonewalling), compounded now by intransigence (threatened veto) suggests an arrogant rogue President who is in a state of total disconnect from the citizens who elected him.

+1

If somebody should be angriest with GWB, it should be the people that voted for him, not those against him. The latter pretty much knew what they were getting.

Check out:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385518277/qid=1140634957/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/104-9301536-4629502?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

I'll pick it up when it comes out on the 28th.


Bush is in grave danger of Caligulizing himself before our very eyes."

I think he is more of a Claudius than a Caligula. Guess who are our modern Messalina and Agripina... And the next in line is Nero...

shecky
February 22, 2006, 03:18 PM
shecky,
Please explain to this red state peon :fire: how allowing foreign control of strategic assets is good for the security of the nation?

Foreign control of the ports is inconsequential. Care to explain how it would be any more dangerous than it is now?

What do you think your corporate earnings will look like once they nationalize you at gunpoint after you sell everything to our enemies.


You're the one advocating what is basically nationalizing business decisions. Thanks to Bush, the Republican party is now the biggest defender of Big Government (http://www.milkeninstitute.org/publications/review/2006_3/38_45mr29.pdf) since the Johnson administration (http://www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb-0510-26.pdf). The biggest lie of the last 50 years is that Republicans stood for smaller government. The saving grace of this latest deal is that at least there's presumably some sound business reasoning behind it.

However, it didn't keep the Prez from completely botching up the presentation of the deal and his reaction to the backlash.

wolf
February 22, 2006, 03:24 PM
another brick in the wall...i remember when Honda had this little "car" that was powered by a motorcycle engine...we didn't seem threatened by it...now that toyota..honda et al..are about to replace GM/Ford in the near future as the worlds largest auto makers..do we feel threatened..there is no uproar about it..it seems like a natural progression..btw: what do you drive..i have been trying to "buy American" but until "we" produce a $35,000 car as good as a BMW ill shop with my feet...or tires..i know I'm helping a foreign country take a piece of ours...but today..walmart rules..

when the smoke clears..if we cant recognize the language someone is speaking..or understand their culture or religion...and we as Americans feel persecuted and made to look like the "bad guy"..are we going to ask...who did this to us..who took our culture

the port issue..i doubt many even know what a port is and fewer care..as is with most of issues that the media presents...it just seems far removed from most..

wolf

Camp David
February 22, 2006, 03:25 PM
If somebody should be angriest with GWB, it should be the people that voted for him, not those against him. The latter pretty much knew what they were getting...

Sorry... don't see it that way... would you be equally upset if, as others have pointed out and used as an example, you found out your favorite airline was being operated by a foreign nation? Why? Isn't this the worst sort of profiling... saying that because UAE has terrorists in their midst we should not deal with them? At all? Do you buy foreign goods? Are you upset your automobile's brake pads are being made by foreign nations?

What right do you have soley criticizing President Bush for this issue? Is he solely responsible for our increased geopolitical trade and manufacturing economy which would bring about a UAE interest into our port operations?

What is your alternate solution to the port issue? Got an alternate port manager? Would you be happy if Haliburton did it instead?

If there is any blame in this issue it certainly does not reside at the White House but rather in the geopolitical nature of our commerce...

JUST A REMINDER: Close to 100 percent of the west coast port leases are foreign owned, with the east coast clocking in at 60 percent.

longeyes
February 22, 2006, 03:30 PM
If we don't have a company here that can handle port management, then let's make one--or let's make it worthwhile to an American firm to do the job because of its sensitive and strategic nature. We piss away billions on God knows what every budget year and yet we can't get our act together on strategic essentials?

No, it's not all Bush's fault, but Bush, bless his heart, is the guy who's going to make clear to us just how deep the rot goes and how much debridement we are going to have to do.

shecky
February 22, 2006, 03:31 PM
I think he is more of a Claudius than a Caligula. Guess who are our modern Messalina and Agripina... And the next in line is Nero...

I'd liken him to more of a Manchurian candidate, as he's been able to completely change the character of Republican platform 180 degrees without hardly anyone blinking an eye. The few that did raise concerns were effectively marginalized by simply labelling them disloyal.

ArmedBear
February 22, 2006, 03:34 PM
As long as there are no West Coast ports on the list, I don't care.

Besides, the conflict between the ports and the Longshoreman's Union shut down the West Coast ports better than a terrorist attack could, a few years back.

<insert obligatory droning negative comment about Bush without offering any viable alternatives here>

shecky
February 22, 2006, 03:35 PM
If we don't have a company here that can handle port management, then let's make one--or let's make it worthwhile to an American firm to do the job because of its sensitive and strategic nature. We piss away billions on God knows what every budget year and yet we can't get our act together on strategic essentials?


OK, more welfare state... :rolleyes:

Camp David
February 22, 2006, 03:38 PM
QUOTE SEEN ON ANOTHER DISCUSSION BOARD ON PORTS ISSUE:

"Which is why I am convinced this is all a Rovian plot to make Chuck Schummer come out in favor of racial profiling. Bow down before Rove -- you can not hope to compete against him, only to acknowledge his infalibility!"

longeyes
February 22, 2006, 03:40 PM
Is the U.S. military a "welfare state?"

Think outside the bucks. I don't think we can afford to be philosophical purists on every issue of national concern. When WW II came about we stopped making such fine decisions. Perhaps we should recognize that we are in a permanent state of global war, economics famously being an expression of that war by other means. In general I don't like government control, involvement, subsidization, but there are exceptions needed to make things happen. Was DARPA a bad idea? NASA? Do we need gov't monies to build nuclear reactors? Encourage alternative energy? Build a network of high-speed rail? We are going to have to do what's necessary to compete economically in this word and preserve, as best we can, our essential political liberties.

thereisnospoon
February 22, 2006, 03:42 PM
I wouldn't feel any LESS secure with a ANOTHERforeign company in charge, but it just seems odd that we are kissing the Islamo-Fascist's butts...

Next few elections, I'm voting against anyone with an I by their name, Democan or Republicrat. Time for new Millionaires to be made!

Biker
February 22, 2006, 03:43 PM
Strange how so many Bush supporters are in favor of "profiling" when it comes to airport security, but now use the practice to attack the detracters of portgate.:scrutiny:
Incidentally, I have no problem with profiling, so to speak.
Biker

longeyes
February 22, 2006, 03:43 PM
"Which is why I am convinced this is all a Rovian plot to make Chuck Schummer come out in favor of racial profiling. Bow down before Rove -- you can not hope to compete against him, only to acknowledge his infalibility!"

Racial profiling sucks. So does economic profiling. That's the deliberate targeting of certain classes (try middle) for political extinction and the profiting thereby.

PCGS65
February 22, 2006, 03:49 PM
Donning my Nomex.:D

1. The ports have been run by a foreign owned company for years.
2. There is no actual EVIDENCE that the UAE company would in any way run the ports differently than the British company.
3. The UAE has been very cooperative in the fight against terrorism.
4. Security is handled by our own security agencies, not the port company.
5. The Democrats and Republicans have jumped on this as an easy way to garner public support by appealing to the racist and xenophobic tendencies of many Americans. Both are looking for any way to dump on Bush, as his popularity numbers shrink.
6. The irony of Democrats, of all people, objecting to this, is overwhelming.
7. Killing this sort of deal will play right into the hands of our enemies in the global propaganda war (that we are losing badly, by the way!).

Bring me some kind of EVIDENCE that the new owner of the port company is in any way going to compromise security, and then we have an issue.

Otherwise, this is all just a cheap political grand stand play, reeking of racism. If you buy into this, then let us go around and make sure that none of our security or strategic assests have any Arabs in them at all -- after all, they MIGHT be a security liability. No evidence needed, just the fact that they are Arab/Muslim will do.:barf:

<Hunkering down now!>

Egg By the time we have solid evidence UAE ownership has/might compromise security it will be too late!! But that's the american way!
Ever hear of preventative maintenence?
No one knows if we will regret this?
But if we do we can scream hang em high for several months afterwards. Then we can forget about it and say why the heck are we going after these people? It costs too many lives. You know just like 9-11-01
Would not having UAE run the ports cause security problems?:)

shecky
February 22, 2006, 04:08 PM
Is the U.S. military a "welfare state?"

Think outside the bucks. I don't think we can afford to be philosophical purists on every issue of national concern. When WW II came about we stopped making such fine decisions. Perhaps we should recognize that we are in a permanent state of global war, economics famously being an expression of that war by other means. In general I don't like government control, involvement, subsidization, but there are exceptions needed to make things happen. Was DARPA a bad idea? NASA? Do we need gov't monies to build nuclear reactors? Encourage alternative energy? Build a network of high-speed rail? We are going to have to do what's necessary to compete economically in this word and preserve, as best we can, our essential political liberties.

Thinking "outside the bucks" is what the Democratic party has been doing since the New Deal. The beauty of walking hand in hand with the military is that damn near ANY program can be (and has been) justified in the name of national defense. There is literally no end of "good ideas" deserving some kind of government funds. The Bush Administration seems to agree, the way it's been spending.

Taking on this stance, however, forefeits one's b*tching rights about their eventual tax burden. Eventual, because we aren't actually paying for all the goodies the republican controlled government have purchased.

Jeff White
February 22, 2006, 04:08 PM
shecky said;
Foreign control of the ports is inconsequential. Care to explain how it would be any more dangerous than it is now?

Have you ever heard of a labor dispute? Here's a scenario for you:

It's 2 years in the future. Iran has just demonstrated to the world that they are truly a nuclear power by conducting open air tests of their new hydrogen bomb.

Iran demands that all Crusader forces leave the Middle East. US forces have been drawn down to approx. 60K in theater. The president responds by announcing he's going to bolster the forces in the Middle East. Heavy units at Ft Hood, Ft Carson, Ft Benning, and Ft Stewart begin rail loading their tanks and IFVs for the trip back to the sandbox. The trains begin arriving at the seaports, where the foreign owners have decided to go to war with the longshoremen over contract issues. Work slows, it finally stops.

The administration is now faced with a politically impossible position, does it side with the UAE owners and order the longshoremen back to work? Does it reroute the heavy equipment to other ports?

We've now got an additional 100K troops enroute to the Middle East by air where they are walking around in the FOBs in Kuwait armed and equipped with what they can carry on their backs. How do we sustain them? What have we accomplished except to give the Iranians a big juicy target for their new nuclear capability.

I'm not concerned in the least about the UAE owners permitting containers full of al-queda operatives and nukes into the country. I am concerned about their ability to slow or shut down port operations during a crisis.

Strategic assets need to be under American control. We seem to have lost sight of that.

Jeff

longeyes
February 22, 2006, 04:21 PM
Strategic assets need to be under American control.

In a sentence, that's it.

That, of course, assumes that one's ultimate strategy is promoting America rather than promoting global corporatism.

longeyes
February 22, 2006, 04:24 PM
Bush now says he didn't know about the deal.

Uh-huh.

For a guy who didn't know he certainly swooped down on the issue like a mother hawk. I don't remember hearing anything about, "Hmmm, let me look into this."

shecky
February 22, 2006, 04:32 PM
I'm not concerned in the least about the UAE owners permitting containers full of al-queda operatives and nukes into the country. I am concerned about their ability to slow or shut down port operations during a crisis.

Strategic assets need to be under American control. We seem to have lost sight of that.



This can happen already under domestic control.

Camp David
February 22, 2006, 04:34 PM
I am concerned about their ability to slow or shut down port operations during a crisis....

Legitimate concern Jeff but this has been the case on the West Coast for quite some time... why is it rising to a crisis now on the East Coast?

PCGS65
February 22, 2006, 04:39 PM
by Jeff White I'm not concerned in the least about the UAE owners permitting containers full of al-queda operatives and nukes into the country. I am concerned about their ability to slow or shut down port operations during a crisis.

I agree about causing havoc at our ports in a crisis.
But you might want to re-read and delete the first sentence of this quote from your post. I don't think you realize how it sounds.:eek: :uhoh:

shecky
February 22, 2006, 04:40 PM
In a sentence, that's it.

That, of course, assumes that one's ultimate strategy is promoting America rather than promoting global corporatism.

Whose responsibility is it to promote America? The government's? Given government's ability to do things efficiently, I'd say don't bother.

Besides, shouldn't American business interests be capable of doing it themselves? If they are not, they deserve to fail. If they actually need government help, perhaps that's a sign that they are not competitive. Shouldn't they be allowed to fail? If subsidized, they lack incentive to actually improve.

Jeff White
February 22, 2006, 04:43 PM
shecky,
A foreign power will exhibit less influence on an American owner then they would on a foreign owner. Especially an owner like the UAE who has to face the prospect of living within range of Iran's crude theater range ballistic missiles.

An American owner would also be subject to US laws. It's easy to sell out someone you are in a business arrangement with, it's not so easy to sell out your country.

There is no justification for foreign control of strategic assets.

Jeff

Sry0fcr
February 22, 2006, 04:52 PM
I don't see any problem with a Dubai company owning a British company that sub-contracts to an American entity to operate our ports. Consider:

1. Britain has at least as many Islamic radicals (including mad bombers) as Dubai, possibly more. They could have come over here working for P&O as easily as they could working for anyone else.

2. The USA still has to issue visas for anyone coming to work here. This should serve as a check on Dubai nationals just as easily as US nationals - and there are already many thousands of Dubai nationals here, studying and working.

3. We can't apply a double standard. If US companies are allowed to operate in Dubai, then Dubai companies must be allowed to operate here. It works both ways.

4. I don't see the Dubai company as being in any way eager to assist terrorists - after all, they'll be making billions of dollars from their US operations, so it's in their own best interests to make sure that their US staff are reliable, loyal and completely non-terrorist (or better yet, anti-terrorist) in outlook.

I think this is a storm in a teacup, and is being stirred up by those who "feel", rather than those who actually think about the realities of the situation.


I'll add that security is not handled by whoever manages the ports but by the Coast Guard and other government entities. The dock workers sure as hell aern't going to change. What are you folks so worried about? Welcome to a global economy.

Camp David
February 22, 2006, 04:58 PM
There is no justification for foreign control of strategic assets.


So should we attack Quebec, since most of New England's electricity, as a strategic asset, is provided by hydropower from Quebec, Canada?

So should we attack Saudi Arabia, since much of the crude oil used domestically, as a strategic asset, is provided by Saudi Arabia?

Is your definition of "strategic asset" simply a domestic item? Because if it is, you need to adjust it to include geopolitical realities!

PCGS65
February 22, 2006, 04:59 PM
I'll add that security is not handled by whoever manages the ports but by the Coast Guard and other government entities. The dock workers sure as hell aern't going to change. What are you folks so worried about? Welcome to a global economy.
I hope we don't find out "what we are all worried about"
Screw the global economy. That has already and will continue to lower our standard of living.:uhoh:

Jeff White
February 22, 2006, 05:22 PM
SryOfcr said;
I'll add that security is not handled by whoever manages the ports but by the Coast Guard and other government entities. The dock workers sure as hell aern't going to change. What are you folks so worried about? Welcome to a global economy.

This is what I'm worried about:

It's 2 years in the future. Iran has just demonstrated to the world that they are truly a nuclear power by conducting open air tests of their new hydrogen bomb.

Iran demands that all Crusader forces leave the Middle East. US forces have been drawn down to approx. 60K in theater. The president responds by announcing he's going to bolster the forces in the Middle East. Heavy units at Ft Hood, Ft Carson, Ft Benning, and Ft Stewart begin rail loading their tanks and IFVs for the trip back to the sandbox. The trains begin arriving at the seaports, where the foreign owners have decided to go to war with the longshoremen over contract issues. Work slows, it finally stops.

The administration is now faced with a politically impossible position, does it side with the UAE owners and order the longshoremen back to work? Does it reroute the heavy equipment to other ports?

We've now got an additional 100K troops enroute to the Middle East by air where they are walking around in the FOBs in Kuwait armed and equipped with what they can carry on their backs. How do we sustain them? What have we accomplished except to give the Iranians a big juicy target for their new nuclear capability.

Even in a global economy, you have to protect your strategic assets. We used to have laws about such things, but I guess profit overrides national defense.

Camp David said;
So should we attack Quebec, since most of New England's electricity, as a strategic asset, is provided by hydropower from Quebec, Canada?

No Canada is not a world power and exists simply because we choose to defend it. They are too tied to us economically and physically that their strategic interests are our strategic interests even if the leftist government there is too stupid to recognize it.

So should we attack Saudi Arabia, since much of the crude oil used domestically, as a strategic asset, is provided by Saudi Arabia?

Have you ever heard of the strategic petroleum reserve? It's not our policy to attack sovereign nations who possess assets that are necessary to run our economy. We do however buy and stockpile enough of the resource to see us through a crisis. The strategic petroleum reserve doesn't exist so the president can boost his flagging poll ratings by releasing the oil into the domestic market and artificially drive gasoline prices down. It exists so that our economy and military can operate through a crisis where the oil may be cut off for a period of time.

Is your definition of "strategic asset" simply a domestic item? Because if it is, you need to adjust it to include geopolitical realities!

My definition of strategic asset has always included geopolitical realities. We used to have strategic reserve programs for other commodities we can't produce domestically.

I would suggest you realize that we still live in a very dangerous world, perhaps more dangerous then the bad old days of the cold war. We still have a need to keep all strategic assets under direct American control, and those we cannot control domestically, we need to stockpile like we do with oil and used to do with various other commodities.

Jeff

engineer151515
February 22, 2006, 05:28 PM
.......... Rather than cede control of vital interests in perpetuity to foreign interests we need to do what's necessary to develop the skills to get this situation under control. ..............


We can't even close our Southern border to millions of illegal aliens.


Forget it.

Political smoke. No fire.


At this point in time, it would not suprise me if a Chinese PLA based company was in charge of landscaping around the US Capitol Building.

Merkin.Muffley
February 22, 2006, 05:36 PM
Bush now says he didn't know about the deal.

Uh-huh.

For a guy who didn't know he certainly swooped down on the issue like a mother hawk. I don't remember hearing anything about, "Hmmm, let me look into this."

Is there ANYONE on this forum who believes he is telling the truth?

Kodiaz
February 22, 2006, 05:57 PM
Well Merkin when was the last time you think he told the truth?

ArmedBear
February 22, 2006, 05:58 PM
Is there ANYONE on this forum who believes he is telling the truth?

I doubt it.

I don't. It just wouldn't make sense. And I like to think I'm not afflicted with BDS like a lot of people here.

To offer a little balance...

I don't think it's the President's job to tell the truth. I don't think it was FDR's job to tell the world about the Manhattan Project, or that it was Kennedy's job or Reagan's to tell the USSR if they were bluffing, or Clinton's job to tell Hussein what we'd do next. Carter's job was NOT to tell the Iranian government that we were choosing impotence, but he didn't do his job. So it's not Bush's job to give up any secrets to Arab countries, or even to the UK whe it's not appropriate.

It IS the President's job to look after US interests, every day in every way. If that involves international deception, then fine with me.

What would be a problem is if the President looks after his own interests, or those of his friends, at the EXPENSE of US interests. And of course, that's the question here.

We DO NOT know if that is happening. Let's see if we can find out.

taliv
February 22, 2006, 06:01 PM
but if "domestic" includes publicly traded US corporations whose stock is held primarily by chinese, french and the saudi royal family?

Art Eatman
February 22, 2006, 06:40 PM
An excerpt from today's "Daily Reckoning" (dot-com). Worth thinking about.

"> "The deal should go forward," says our friend, Chris Mayer.
>
> "First, people should understand that DP World would not own the ports,
> only the concessions (or contracts) to manage the ports.
>
> "Second, security at U.S. ports is handled by the U.S. Coast Guard and
> U.S. Customs Service. Management companies have little to do with
> security. None of this changes with the deal.
>
> "This deal was no secret. It has been reported on extensively in the
> financial press, as DP World was in a bidding war for P&O, eventually
> beating out a Singapore-owned shipping company. The deal passed all of the
> normal regulatory approvals.
>
> "Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates, is a Middle Eastern country.
> It is a Muslim country and as detractors are fond of pointing out, two of
> the 9/11 hijackers came from the UAB. Somehow, that puts everyone related
> to the UAB under suspicion. Politicians, and the mainstream public, are
> essentially acting like bigots for holding a Middle Eastern ally to a
> different standard. Many of the top execs at DP World are American and the
> port workers are Americans - regardless of who owns the concessions.
>
> "For those who say they don't want a foreign government running our ports:
> well, I have a surprise for you. China already runs a terminal at the Port
> of Los Angeles. Singapore runs terminals in Oakland. The fact is that
> around the world this is commonplace. If the U.S. government is going to
> exclude foreign companies (even government-owned ones) from running its
> ports, it will only slip back further in the global competitive race,
> isolating it from the biggest and most efficient port operators in the
> world.
>
> "U.S. ports are already inefficient, expensive and heavily-regulated.
> Hutchinson Ports, the world's largest port operator, won't touch the
> United States because of how poorly U.S. ports are managed and organized."

FWIW,

Art

longhorngunman
February 22, 2006, 06:46 PM
Now Art there you go ruining a perfectly good rant, rave, accusation, assumption, and stereotype thread by injecting reality and common sense into it!:p

Zedicus
February 22, 2006, 06:46 PM
Lack of homegrown capacity to manage our ports is a symptom of a much bigger problem that "Portgate" has, thankfully, awakened us to. Rather than cede control of vital interests in perpetuity to foreign interests we need to do what's necessary to develop the skills to get this situation under control. This is like saying we don't have enough engineers so let's just forget about it and hire foreign talent. We piss away billions and billions on stupid stuff, we waste infinite amounts of time on nonsense, but we don't have the will to steer our own national ship? This is just one Big Problem America is either going to start coming to terms with or slowly but surely perish.
+1

Well Said!

PCGS65
February 22, 2006, 07:11 PM
by the Daily Reckoning "The deal should go forward," says our friend, Chris Mayer.

Ahhhh opinions,opinions
"The deal should not go forward says me" PCGS65
Evidently a biased source.
So much for that.;)

Ohen Cepel
February 22, 2006, 07:17 PM
I couldn't answer the poll since you have it asking about operating the port.

That will not be the case. They will own it, not operate it. There are HUGE amounts of real estate owned by other countries in America, you just don't know it since the media doesn't make a big deal about it.

I don't think there is a port in America that is American owned now.

DonP
February 22, 2006, 07:52 PM
From CBS News of all places..........
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/22/opinion/meyer/main1335531.shtml
WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2006
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(CBS) This commentary was written by CBSNews.com's Dick Meyer.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A nefarious multinational corporation secretly controlled by a hostile Arab government has engineered a covert takeover of six major U.S. ports. America is at risk of losing control of its borders and compromising national security in an entirely preventable way.

Horselips.

Never have I seen a bogus story explode so fast and so far. I thought I was a connoisseur of demagoguery and cheap shots, but the Dubai Ports World saga proves me a piker. With a stunning kinship of cravenness, politicians of all flavors risk trampling each other as they rush to the cameras and microphones to condemn the handover of massive U.S. strategic assets to an Islamic, Arab terrorist-loving enemy.

The only problem -- and I admit it's only a teeny-weeny problem -- is that 90 percent of that story is false.

The United Arab Emirates is not an Axis of Evil kind of place, it will not own U.S. ports, it will not control security at U.S. ports and there is nothing new about foreigners owning U.S. ports. Odds are higher that you'll be trampled by Chuck Schumer rushing to a microphone to provide soundbites than by something smuggled into a port terminal leased by Dubai Ports World.

But please: let's not let the facts get in the way of a good story. And what's wrong with a little Arab-bashing anyway?

I am no expert on ports, transportation or shipping. But it takes very little reading and research to cut through the gas on this one.

Myth #1: An Arab company is trying to buy six American ports.

No, the company is buying up a British company that leases terminals in American ports; the ports are U.S.-owned. To lease a terminal at a U.S. port means running some business operations there -- contracting with shipping lines, loading and unloading cargo and hiring local labor. Dubai Ports World is not buying the ports.

Several companies will lease terminals at a single port. In New Orleans, for example, the company Dubai Ports World is trying to buy (P&O Ports) is just one of eight companies that lease and operate terminals.

P&O Ports does business in 18 other countries. None of them are in righteous lathers about the sale of the business to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates. Dubai Ports World already operates port facilities all over the world, including such security-slacker states as China, Australia, Korea and Germany.

Myth #2: The U.S. is turning over security at crucial ports to an Arab company.

No, security at U.S. ports is controlled by U.S. federal agencies led by the Coast Guard and the U.S. Customs and Border Control Agency, which are part of the Homeland Security department. Local jurisdictions also provide police and security personnel.

Complaints about security at ports should be directed to the federal government.

Myth #3: American ports should be American.

Well, it's too late, baby. According to James Jay Carafano of the Heritage Foundation (a place really known for its Arab-loving, soft-on-terror approach), "Foreign companies already own most of the maritime infrastructure that sustains American trade…" Thirty per cent of the countries port terminals are operated by companies that are, um, unAmerican.

At the port of Los Angeles, 80 per cent of the terminals are operated by foreign companies. Chinese companies operate more than half the terminals. So why is this suddenly a threat? After all, political outcry managed to scupper the deal a few months ago in which a Chinese company was going to take over the Unocal oil company.

Remember the global economy? Internationally, 24 of the 25 largest companies that operate port terminals aren't American. That means just aboust every container that enters a U.S. port has come from a foreign-controlled facilty.

Go to any port in the country and you'll be lucky to see a single giant vessel with U.S.A. on its stern. Foreign-owned airplanes fly into American airports every hour. Many U.S. companies have foreign entities among their largest shareholders.

My colleague Charlie Wolfson reports that State Department sources say Dubai Ports World already handles port calls for U.S. Navy ships from the 5th fleet for their regular port calls in the United Arab Emirates -- a pretty high measure of trustworthiness.

Myth #4: The United Arab Emirates has "very serious" al Qaeda connections.

That's what Republican Rep. Peter King says. It's also what the administration said of pre-war Iraq, but that didn't mean it was true. I suppose you could say each and every Arab and Islamic country has al Qaeda issues, but even on that yardstick the UAE is a pretty good player and by most accounts, getting better.

Politicians have been quick to point out that two of the 9/11 hijackers were from UAE. And we're turning over our ports to them? Well, by that logic, we shouldn't let Lufthansa land in our airports or have military bases in Germany, because that country housed a bunch of the 9/11 hijackers as they were plotting.

Yes, Dubai has plenty of blood in its hands, especially as a source or courier for terror funds. To my knowledge its crimes were not governmetn sponsored. It is not a rogue state. It has been among the closer and more cooperative Arab allies for the past two years (another conspiracy theory: Bush is paying them off at the expense of our safety).

Some combination of these facts led the Dubai Ports deal to be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a joint effort of a dozen government agencies tasked with security (yes, I know, that's slim solace).

Certainly the security of American ports is an important issue. Certainly who controls the finances of companies that lease terminals at ports is far down the to-do list of how to improve security at ports.

That has everything to do with adequate funding and proper management at the relevant agencies. Management is the responsibility of the executive branch, while funding and oversight is the job of Congress. There is scant evidence that Congress or the administration have excelled in their duties.

That's why it's so tempting for politicians of both parties to indulge in xenophobic Arab-bashing on this matter of minimal national security importance. There are uncounted real homeland security issues and glaring national security problems coming from Arab or Muslim stetas; this is not in either category, not even close. But as one Republican said, regardless of the facts, the administration was politically "tone deaf" on this one. Appearance is more important than reality.

Often bipartisanship is a sign of pragmatic consensus or noble common cause. In this case it is merely a demonstration of an occupational hazard of politicians: cover-your-arse-itis.

notupperwareplease
February 22, 2006, 07:59 PM
I vote against any foreigner in charge, as a theory. Of course, there is no American-based company that COULD, but in theory we should be running our own ports.

However, I don't see a difference between UAE and England or Singapore. Terrorists have global networks with worldwide front companies designed for pure income and influence/intel. Where a company is based has no effect. People act like there is some kind of magical wall in the ME, and everything between Japan and Europe is fanatically Communist or Terrorist, and everything west is somehow righteous.

I think many here discard the value of money. Money, Ideology, Career, Ego...is that how the acronym goes? Fork over enough money, almost any port employee from any nation will hand you some info under the table. People who can't be bought are few and far between.

Proof? How many people do you talk to will say "I would never do that" on any given issue, but when you say "How about if someone offered you a million dollars?" they say "Well...maybe...."

longeyes
February 22, 2006, 08:12 PM
"For those who say they don't want a foreign government running our ports:
> well, I have a surprise for you. China already runs a terminal at the Port
> of Los Angeles. Singapore runs terminals in Oakland. The fact is that
> around the world this is commonplace. If the U.S. government is going to
> exclude foreign companies (even government-owned ones) from running its
> ports, it will only slip back further in the global competitive race,
> isolating it from the biggest and most efficient port operators in the
> world.
>
> "U.S. ports are already inefficient, expensive and heavily-regulated.
> Hutchinson Ports, the world's largest port operator, won't touch the
> United States because of how poorly U.S. ports are managed and organized."

This is what's called an OPPORTUNITY. I'm glad we're finding out about this rather grim fact. Now let's change it. Why do we have to just accept this as a fait accompli for all time?

ArmedBear
February 22, 2006, 08:13 PM
This is what's called an OPPORTUNITY. I'm glad we're finding out about this rather grim fact. Now let's change it. Why do we have to just accept this as a fait accompli for all time?

Well, if you can get rid of the Longshoreman's Union and the politicians in their pocket, you'll be off to a good start. But I thought you were a protectionist pro-organized-labor guy?

longeyes
February 22, 2006, 08:18 PM
But I thought you were a protectionist pro-organized-labor guy?

Not at all, just a realist--and an unapologetic nationalist. If I have to choose between the blue-collar "organized labor" guy and the guys living off trust funds, directorships, and political connections, I'll take the former. Give me an honest truck driver anytime over a dishonest arbitrageur.

GoRon
February 22, 2006, 08:44 PM
After waiting for the dust to settle and the facts to dribble out this is what I think.

This is a non story. Nothing of any importance will change with this sale.

The same security (or lack thereof) will be in place, the same unions and workers will be doing their jobs as under the previous owners.

My initial reaction was :eek: just like everyone else. After looking at this dispassionately I have come to the conclusion that this would never happen if there was a chance it would make security worse.

Jeff,
In the event of some conflageration that required the use of the ports, do you really think some bureaucrat in the UAE is going to be able shut down our ability to use the ports. One phone call to the union from the Whitehouse promising everyone will be paid regardless of what the "owners" say and every true blue union guy will be on the job just to stick it to the "Arab" owners.

Flyboy
February 22, 2006, 09:00 PM
http://www.reason.com/hod/db102605.shtml

Bottom line: peace isn't just good for business, business is good for peace.

A little more in-depth: There are a number of reasons why economics appears to trump politics. The shift from statist mercantilism to high-tech capitalism has transformed the economics behind war. Markets generate economic opportunities that make war less desirable. Territorial aggrandizement no longer provides the best path to riches. Free-flowing capital markets and other aspects of globalization simultaneously draw nations together and raise the economic price of military conflict, because the political destabilization resulting from war deters profitable investment and trade. Moreover, sanctions, which interfere with economic prosperity, provides a coercive step short of war to achieve foreign policy ends.Go read the full article for the full details.

Besides which, there are two major points not being mentioned by any of the usual media outlets. 1) As others have pointed out, it's not like Dubai Ports World is going to own the port; they're going to be managing a small aspect of it. Security will still be handled by Americans, including government agents (insert joke here). This doesn't change anything--in fact, the functions being transferred were already owned by foreigners, in this case the Brits. 2) You want Americans running it? Fine--get an American company to compete for the contract. Yeah, you heard me: no American company even tried for the contract. That's because this sort of port operation is a money-losing venture.

If the UAE wants to throw money at us, and simultaneously put itself in a position where it has something to lose, economically and financially, from terrorism, I say bring it on. And, incidentally, there's a reason foreign-owned companies and foreign-flagged vessels absolutely dominate maritime shipping, but I think tax discussions are probably way outside the scope of this thread.

longeyes
February 22, 2006, 09:59 PM
There are a number of reasons why economics appears to trump politics. The shift from statist mercantilism to high-tech capitalism has transformed the economics behind war. Markets generate economic opportunities that make war less desirable. Territorial aggrandizement no longer provides the best path to riches. Free-flowing capital markets and other aspects of globalization simultaneously draw nations together and raise the economic price of military conflict, because the political destabilization resulting from war deters profitable investment and trade. Moreover, sanctions, which interfere with economic prosperity, provides a coercive step short of war to achieve foreign policy ends.

There's an old saying on Wall Street: "This time it's different." It qualifies as sardonic humor.

How long have we had capitalism? How many wars during that time? How many wars during the "high-tech" phase? Fitting that this comes from "reason.com." Too bad human history isn't a display of reason, huh? The Enlightenment is a campfire surrounded by dark, deep jungle. There are so many reasons why we and the Islamic world should not fight to the death, so many. And yet...we will, if history is any guide.

This is a non story. Nothing of any importance will change with this sale.

I beg to differ. No matter how much Rove talks about "valued allies" and "racism" the fact is that this will be a catalyzing political event that strips the Bush administration of its last vestiges of strength. I think a lot of people are going to wake up, a lot are going to finally register ultimate disillusionment with the current leadership. That leadership is more than the Bush crew; it extends to all the people who, over the years, have presided over America's long slow slide into being a happy, flabby giant that needs to placate its enemies. A lot of change lies ahead.

Maxwell
February 22, 2006, 10:21 PM
Its a port.
People make money cause other people pay money to use it.
People who own ports dont really run the security or customs, its a governments job.

Now heres the issue to me:
One non-american guy is tired of owning ports, he wants out. Other non-americans offer to buy the things. Everyone talks to the powers that be to make sure its kosher, and its seen as kosher.

Now the dems say they dont want forigners in charge of ports... well, these forigners are in charge of alot of stuff. The country a company is based in has little to do with how it runs on our soil. We got laws to govern that.

If we back out of this deal, and worse if we back out of it with this politicly correct brainstorm that the UAE will somehow mean our port security can suck any more than it already does, two thigns will happen:
1) Someone in the UK is going to lose alot of money on their investment since they cant offload it.
2) Other forigners with investments in the US might start to think twice over what is now an unwise investment.

I think in trying to save these facilities from status-quo security in the near future, we're going to expose ourselves to a much larger economic crises that has little to do with ports or arabs.

hso
February 22, 2006, 11:23 PM
As long as there are no West Coast ports on the list, I don't care.

Might wanna start then since almost every West Coast port controller is foriegn.

Art Eatman
February 22, 2006, 11:37 PM
PCGS65, for all practical purposes, this deal went down many decades ago: Many of our port facilities have been managed by non-US corporations since Way Back When. So what if this foreign operation is sold to another foreign operation? What change of importance is there?

Art

#shooter
February 23, 2006, 12:13 AM
I think politically it does not look good to always complain that the Democrats do not have a post 9/11 view and then turn around give control our ports away to a potential enemy and remain aloof about it. Then Bush is complaining that the Democrats are racial profiling. Did we just enter a mirror universe?

The fact is the red state Republicans failed to reign in Bush and his policies and the blue state republicans are going to pay for it. Some red states on the cusp are trying to throw the blue staters a bone. It may work.
National security, gay marrage, stay the course, and abortion are what won the last election. Gay marrage is done, many states outright banned it. The supreme court just got new blood that will likely lean right on abortion so that is done. The Prez and VP aren't up for re-election so they don't care. The only thing left is national security. It's a jump ball.

itgoesboom
February 23, 2006, 01:12 AM
Well, I am one of the souls who voted the second option, although that is not exactly how I feel, the poll just didn't have the right option.

I would have voted for "I am okay with some countries being in charge of ports, but not many".

My view on this may not be popular, but hey that is okay.

Here is where I am coming from:

The company that controlled the ports prior to this was a British firm. We can be pretty sure that Britain has pretty similar intrests to ourselves. Same if the firm was from Australia, Canada, or a host of european or asian countries. I am sure nobody would have a problem with Japan running our ports currently.

But I think most everyone would have a problem if we let China or Mexico, or Cuba run our ports. Not because they are an enemy, but because they have different interests than us.

I feel the same about pretty much all Muslim countries right now. It's not so much that they are Muslim, although the fact that we seem to be fighting Muslim extremists around the world, who seem to have very popular support amongst the Muslim masses, but it is that the countries over there have different interests at heart than we do.

Now, if there was one country that I felt could manage it effectively out of the Muslim nations, it would probably be UAE.

Ofcourse, I do also have a serious issue with the fact that the UAE still doesn't recognize Israel as a legitimate country, but that they did recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government (one of only 3 countries that did).

This isn't meant to offend Muslims on this board, I know there are moderates, and I have no problems with them at all. I have had many friends who were moderate Muslims.

But I think it is important to acknoledge that there are differing interests at heart here. And they are sometimes in conflict.

I.G.B.

gunsmith
February 23, 2006, 04:58 AM
this is why I rarely poll, I never get the right questions.

I know, deep down inside that this is a trojan horse that we have just woken up to.
If I had known other countries were in charge of vital national interest I would have been against it, I don't read the business section of the news so I wasn't aware. It's really boring economic stuff, no blood or guns or explosions and no bears or mountain lions or attacking dogs--I like meaty news not interest rates and tax schemes.

If Kerry had been elected and this story broke we would be saying ...see he took away our guns by extending the AWB and now he is handing over our security to the terrorist. , but would we be in an uproar if this were an Isreali company or Brazillian? No, it's an Arab company, and this Arab company happens to be in a very friendly, stable nation.
__________________
a friendly stable dictatorship that uses it ports to ship nuke materials to Iran (from what I've heard) a friendly stable dictatorship that doesn't recognize Israel, a friendly stable dictatorship that probably has many more questionable practices. and YES I am against any other country other then having our ports.
heck I don't want NY in charge of it's ports. I am from NY but I have been to Texas and Florida, both of those states would handle it better then the commies in NY or the Jihadist in UAE.

If we were talking about Kerry and not GW we would be rubbing our hands in glee at them handing us the next election.

GW is handing the Dem's a winning strategy, say good bye to buying new guns after the next election.

And his darn threat to Veto, ....what?!.... he won't veto mccain feingold but he will veto a new law that says we the people are in charge of our own darn port?...
maybe next election I stay home and clean and bury some guns

RealGun
February 23, 2006, 08:29 AM
Maybe once we have all graduated from maritime commerce and free trade 101 we should run the poll again. That would be minus the irrelevant option of how LPers would vote in the next election.

Biker
February 23, 2006, 08:57 AM
There is so much about this deal that stinks to high heaven. For example, last month, Bush nominated David C. Sanborn to serve as maritime adminstrator, an important transportation appointment reporting directly to Secretary of Transportation Norman Maneta.

Sanford ran Dubai Ports World's European and Latin American operations prior to the nomination.

Don't sound right to me.

Biker
:scrutiny:

PCGS65
February 23, 2006, 10:38 AM
PCGS65, for all practical purposes, this deal went down many decades ago: Many of our port facilities have been managed by non-US corporations since Way Back When. So what if this foreign operation is sold to another foreign operation? What change of importance is there?
Art

Art Things have changed since then. Terrorists aren't just hijacking planes and taking hostages anymore as you know. They will stop at nothing to cause massive damage/casualties to americans. Heaven forbid if they "get the bomb" which will happen some day.
Since they(terrorists)aren't exclusive to a country, it's a very cumbersome battle. We are almost comitted to a defensive posture only.
Yes no one knows if the "port sale" will be devastating. I personally choose not to find out. They are our friends? Yes superficially.
If the U.S. does something some day to unwitingly jeoperdize our relationship with UAE they will side with their own people as would we. Blood is thicker than water.:uhoh:
:)

Camp David
February 23, 2006, 10:58 AM
There is so much about this deal that stinks to high heaven. For example, last month, Bush nominated David C. Sanborn to serve as maritime adminstrator, an important transportation appointment reporting directly to Secretary of Transportation Norman Maneta.

Sanford ran Dubai Ports World's European and Latin American operations prior to the nomination.

Don't sound right to me. You would rather Bush nominated someone with no experience in port operations?

Question: were you just as concerned about West Coast port operations during Clinton's administration, when they were awarded to foreign operators? ;)

Biker
February 23, 2006, 11:39 AM
No CD. I was not aware of the problem during Clinton's admin. It wasn't until I first got onto the internet about 5 years ago that I was able to access the info not available through the MSM. Believe me though, there was plenty about Clinton that gave me a case of the red-butt.
You don't find the Sanford situation the least bit fishy?
Biker

#shooter
February 23, 2006, 12:21 PM
There is so much about this deal that stinks to high heaven. For example, last month, Bush nominated David C. Sanborn to serve as maritime adminstrator, an important transportation appointment reporting directly to Secretary of Transportation Norman Maneta.

Sanford ran Dubai Ports World's European and Latin American operations prior to the nomination.

Don't sound right to me.

Biker
:scrutiny:
I also read that Secetary Snow worked for CSX as a CEO and sold CSX's ports to DPW. Now the administration is trying to hire an executive from DPW for as a director of maritime and transportation. This admin just reeks.

Biker
February 23, 2006, 12:29 PM
I don't get it, man. This admin has laid a huge steamer right on the living room carpet and everyone seems to holding their nose and stepping over it.:cuss:
Biker

longeyes
February 23, 2006, 12:58 PM
I know, deep down inside that this is a trojan horse that we have just woken up to.
If I had known other countries were in charge of vital national interest I would have been against it, I don't read the business section of the news so I wasn't aware. It's really boring economic stuff, no blood or guns or explosions and no bears or mountain lions or attacking dogs--I like meaty news not interest rates and tax schemes.

There's a Trojan horse all right and the Elephant in the Living Room just came out of his belly. We are being dismembered and disarmed, slowly but surely. I think this is an important wake-up call: now we can all see how the people at the top, and I don't mean just the Bush admin, operate. The clubbiness of it all. The disdain. The arrogance. The threats. People clamming up. Being told we are "racists" by Karl Rove if we object. It's all there. Is Sanborn a problem? Who knows? Cherchez l'argent. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to trace all the money all the time, see who has bank accounts where? Now THAT would be an eye-opener, I'm sure.

We have all been lulled to sleep for a long time. I think we need to explode ALL the mythologies. Like Reagan winning the Cold War, just to cite one. Winning it by making the U.S. a debtor nation? While offering an illegal alien amnesty? The Cold War is INSIDE AMERICA; it's infiltrated our culture at every level, and yet we repeat the mantra, comforting ourselves that all is okay, looking back nostalgically. Well, folks, it's NOT OKAY. And now we know.

carlrodd
February 23, 2006, 01:02 PM
i really wish as a country we would do a big 180 economically, and re-assess the value of of something like having americans run businesses in america. i understand it would involve a complete change in thinking, and economically, we would have to go through a very difficult period of readjustment. i would very much be willing to forgoe many luxuries and accept a difference in my standard of living if it meant that 20 years down the road, we would see a huge resurgence of american owned and run businesses.

i know this port business is old news, but it's captured everybody's attention now, so why not use it as a springboard to address the underlying problems that a few have already mentioned. everyday, and in all sorts of different ways, we sell out for a buck. someone on THR said the other day that the US is no longer the world's greatest producer of anything, its simply the world's greatest consumer. i fear going down that road any further.

as for whether or not the methods by which this deal has been achieved are dubious, i'd say it's REALLY old news that this administration has continually misled our people with doublespeak and many times outright lies. there's always an excuse, a half-baked explanation, a look of bewilderment etc. it's like listening to my elementary school students where i work when they get in trouble.....they simply are not capable of being forthright.

longeyes
February 23, 2006, 01:08 PM
i really wish as a country we would do a big 180 economically, and re-assess the value of of something like having americans run businesses in america. i understand it would involve a complete change in thinking, and economically, we would have to go through a very difficult period of readjustment. i would very much be willing to forgoe many luxuries and accept a difference in my standard of living if it meant that 20 years down the road, we would see a huge resurgence of american owned and run businesses.


The path we are on right now is untenable. Some big changes are needed, on many levels. Whether we can effect those changes politically, given both the politicans we have to work with and the general disconnectedness of the voting public, remains to be seen. We can talk about apocalyptic events shocking us into action, but the grim fact is that we may not be able to just shrug off catastrophes and rebound. Better to look hard at the future and bite the bullet now, I agree. We are going to need political leaders who are more honest, less polite, not bought and sold by the system, and passionate. And we don't have that much time any more.

carlrodd
February 23, 2006, 01:22 PM
There's a Trojan horse all right and the Elephant in the Living Room just came out of his belly. We are being dismembered and disarmed, slowly but surely. I think this is an important wake-up call: now we can all see how the people at the top, and I don't mean just the Bush admin, operate. The clubbiness of it all. The disdain. The arrogance. The threats. People clamming up. Being told we are "racists" by Karl Rove if we object. It's all there. Is Sanborn a problem? Who knows? Cherchez l'argent. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to trace all the money all the time, see who has bank accounts where? Now THAT would be an eye-opener, I'm sure.

We have all been lulled to sleep for a long time. I think we need to explode ALL the mythologies. Like Reagan winning the Cold War, just to cite one. Winning it by making the U.S. a debtor nation? While offering an illegal alien amnesty? The Cold War is INSIDE AMERICA; it's infiltrated our culture at every level, and yet we repeat the mantra, comforting ourselves that all is okay, looking back nostalgically. Well, folks, it's NOT OKAY. And now we know.

read again everybody....+1 and then again. publish what you just wrote. it's not fanciful or confused, alarmist or crazy. we get sucked into only considering the minute details. there is a big picture; look at it. for years we have become complacent and sleepy, and those in charge are quite happy with it staying that way. for god's sake, two enormous buildings, landmarks even, were desroyed as we watched, and our pentagon was attacked. thousands of people died. i was qualifying with my m-16 when it happened. three months later when i graduated basic training, it was as if everyone had already forgotten. and now we sit and argue about what the new buildings should look like at ground zero, when if we had any resolve as a nation, we would have built them with the same exact blue-prints the second the site was cleared. we have no resolve as a nation. we need to take control of our country....money, infrastructure, energy...everything.

this port problem is just another detail..a symptom. but we need to make a big deal about it, whether we missed it the last time it happened or not. i'm tired of being taken advantage of, and i don't want anymore of my rights siphoned away or bought off by other nations or multi-national corporations.

pretend like this port thing is nothing. ignore it because we've seen it before. and that will be one more step toward the end. almost everyone on this site agrees that our rights are being slowly and quietly stripped away, yet many of you think this is just another 'no big deal'.

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 01:30 PM
Under no set of circumstances should we allow the UAE to run our ports. The fact that the administration is actually *DEFENDING* this idiotic decision instead of quashing it quickly raises serious questions about GW's ability to continue in a leadership role. There is absolutely no excuse for this behavior. It appears he has simply surrounded himself with so many "yes" men that nobody is able to challenge him anymore. As a result the normally loyal leadership on the hill is in open revolt--something that has not happened publically at any time since 9/11.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 01:33 PM
National security, gay marrage, stay the course, and abortion are what won the last election.

John Kerry and John Edwards, with the help of Jimmy Carter and Michael Moore won the last election for Bush. That's a lesson that the Democrats would be wise to learn if they plan to win in 2008. Perhaps they should send out a memo to their members to take all those Kerry/Edwards stickers off their cars and tell the two of them to shut up, along with Carter. Moore has apparently already gotten the memo.

Gay marriage and abortion carry a certain percentage of the electorate -- smaller than the Republicans think, IMO -- and the Democrats abandoned that group over 25 years ago. That group will vote Republican until the Republicans tell them to pound sand, just like the hardcore Pro-Choice activists will vote Democrat no matter what. Once you've won people to your side, you get no extra points (or votes) by winning them over again. You get some donations, though.

"Swing voters" on average don't give a crap about abortion or gay marriage because they're not firmly in one camp or the other, and because these issues seem largely artificial to many people. Their mixed opinions cancel each other out, one way or another. Or they are libertarian in impulse, which means they either abdicate (not voting or voting 3rd party), or consciously choose the lesser evil.

Now politically, the port thing is interesting. On the one hand, it makes the Bush Administration look like it doesn't take national security seriously, which, in turn makes it look like the PATRIOT Act, etc. are more about an internal power grab than anything else. On the other hand, the very Democrats who have been downplaying the threat of international terrorism for a while now, are all of a sudden screaming about how big this threat is. This makes them look somewhat silly in an era where their quotes from 6 months back can be found and replicated easily. And many Republicans have distanced themselves from the Bush administration on this; this makes the issue, such as it is, about the administration rather than the party. This only matters politically because Bush won't be running again, but that's a crucial fact. If the GOP is seen as synonymous with Bush, that doesn't bode well for their next candidate. But Hillary is a divider, not a uniter. The next election might end up being about individuals, too, more than parties.

So the question is, with many ways to look at this, what will the swing voters think? If 2/3 of the country votes their party come hell or high water, it's the other 1/3 that matters. MoveOn.org's web site and Rush Limbaugh's radio show are really predictable. At this point, these two formerly interesting sources of very biased information are no longer useful. MoveOn would bash Bush if he singlehandedly cured cancer, ended war and made the world as happy as if it were on Prozac, and Limbaugh would justify his actions if he was found raping a nursery full of babies. No one in the "middle" is listening.

And it seems like blogs that operate outside the far-left/far-right system are starting to call this a tempest in a teapot. Do they represent the "middle"? That will be interesting to see.

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 01:34 PM
PCGS65, for all practical purposes, this deal went down many decades ago: Many of our port facilities have been managed by non-US corporations since Way Back When. So what if this foreign operation is sold to another foreign operation? What change of importance is there?

Art

There's a universe of difference between a UK corporation and the government of the UAE. Under NO SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES can a Gulf state be given control of our ports. I don't object to trading with these guys and helping them fight terror, but there is a great deal about their government and way of life at odds with our continued existence. They recognized the TALIBAN for the love of mike! THE TALIBAN!! Their own port operations are a security nightmare.

All it takes is ONE MANAGER in this outfit with a cousin in AQ and they'll have an open door and a welcome mat to bring WMD's into the nation. We cannot risk this. We cannot allow a President to risk this.

Not only is it OK to apply a double standard to foreign companies, it is imperative that we apply this standard. If you haven't figured out the fundamental differences between muslim nations and western nations, you need to go back and review some recent history. This doesn't mean we have to wage holy war, but it's important to remember that east is east and west is west. We can trade and cooperate but we are a long, long, long way from reading off the same page. We must not sacrifice such a basic element of our national security in an effort to avoid offending some rich Arabs. THEY HAVE NO BUSINESS RUNNING OUR PORTS.

hso
February 23, 2006, 01:37 PM
Art If the U.S. does something some day to unwitingly jeoperdize our relationship with UAE they will side with their own people as would we. Blood is thicker than water.:uhoh:
:)


And that's where primative tribal thinking on both sides gets everyone in trouble. Capitalists devoted to international trade view other international capitalists as their "own people". That's were the money is and where the relationships are. Dubai Ports World, just like all the other port management corporations, all are looking to be good international businessmen with no political aspirations. They need to bo dispassionate because competition is keen in this areana and it would be nothing for a skittish government to nationalize or designate an in-country limitation for leasees.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 01:41 PM
There's a universe of difference between a UK corporation and the government of the UAE. Under NO SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES can a Gulf state be given control of our ports.

Too bad they already control part of something far more important than ports.

All it takes is ONE MANAGER in this outfit with a cousin in AQ and they'll have an open door and a welcome mat to bring WMD's into the nation. We cannot risk this. We cannot allow a President to risk this.

So a UK company or a US company can't have a manager who has a cousin in AQ? And DPI employs a lot of Americans, apparently.

Is the "risk" here really any greater than other risks we are willing to take every day? All of life is full of risks. But isolationism has its own high costs, and won't eliminate risk.

PCGS65
February 23, 2006, 01:42 PM
+1 Biker,Carlrodd,Cosmoline,Longeyes I'm glad some of you guys can see through the smoke screen.

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 01:46 PM
They won't OWN anything except the contract to lease the facilities and handle logistics for the port.

Their position in charge of logistics GIVES THEM ACCESS to critical, real-time information about what ships are arriving when and gives them the ability to ensure that our minimal DHS personnel on the docks will not find the special countainers Cousin Fatwah stuck on the ship when it left for the US. We don't need the management firm to be in lockstep with DHS. But we do need to be reasonably sure they aren't going to actively try to undermine our security. It's not like every container gets screened. But it's a heck of a lot harder for Cousin Fatwah to find a willing partner among a bunch of Brits than among folks who were still slicing hands off less than a generation ago and who still go insane over the mere IMAGE of their diety being published. I'm pleased as punch that the UAE has become more modernized. I know some people over there and they seem OK. But that's a long way from trusting them enough to let them run our ports. Let's talk in another 100 years after we know them as well as we know the Brits or the Dutchies.

Guys, I'd even trust the Chicoms more than these characters. The Chinese at least have the same hatred for Muslim extremists we do. They don't intern them, they just slaughter them.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 01:51 PM
Cosmoline-

Is there any reason to believe that the Europeans (including Brits) with large Muslim populations and governments hamstrung by their own political correctness, are a safer bet than international business types from Dubai?

Camp David
February 23, 2006, 01:52 PM
Is the "risk" here really any greater than other risks we are willing to take every day?

No... The only "risk" I see with this issue is to Democrats; whether America will see through their partisanship of this issue! Even the California Dems are weighing in with pontifical judgment on Eastern ports and UAE control, while their western ports are 100% foreign operated! Can you say hypocrite? Thy name is Democrat!

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 01:54 PM
have a manager who has a cousin in AQ? And DPI employs a lot of Americans, apparently.

Is the "risk" here really any greater than other risks we are willing to take every day? All of life is full of risks. But isolationism has its own high costs, and won't eliminate risk.

It's far less likely that AQ would find a willing participant among an established British or Dutch port managment company.

Refusing to let a bunch of yahoos who approved of the TALIBAN just a few years ago run our ports is not "isolationism." I've put up with a lot of nonsense from the GW administration. But to have them try to cram this load of excrement down our gullets, then have their spin doctors claim we're "racist" or isolationist for objecting is OVER THE LINE.

The one thing I could always say about GW was that he would never give in to the terrorists. I can't say that anymore, and my support for him is now at an end. Thankfully the GOP leadership seems to be coming to the same conclusion. Just like George I, this idiot has chosen his Arab friends over us. He's more concerned with avoiding an insult to the Gulf states than protecting the ports. He does not deserve to be President.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 01:56 PM
No... The only "risk" I see with this issue is to Democrats; whether America will see through their partisanship of this issue! Even the California Dems are weighing in with pontifical judgment on Eastern ports and UAE control, while their western ports are 100% foreign operated! Can you say hypocrite? Thy name is Democrat!

And these are the same Democrats who have been blasting the Bush administration for a long time for using the threat of terrorism for political purposes, and for exaggerating the threat.

The GOP wouldn't have a chance in hell, were it not for the current "leadership" of their opposition!

Biker
February 23, 2006, 01:56 PM
No... The only "risk" I see with this issue is to Democrats; whether America will see through their partisanship of this issue! Even the California Dems are weighing in with pontifical judgment on Eastern ports and UAE control, while their western ports are 100% foreign operated! Can you say hypocrite? Thy name is Democrat!
Well CD, seems to me that a lot of Repubs are not too happy about this deal either. Fact is, some're gettin' downright testy about the whole thing.
;)
Did someone mention "hypocrite"? Guess there's plenty o' that particular medicine to go around.
Biker

longeyes
February 23, 2006, 01:58 PM
The Deal is The Deal. No one is saying never trade with Arabs or Muslims. No one is saying Arabs or Muslims can't own anything in the U.S. This is about WHICH ASSETS, WHICH OWNERSHIP, WHICH DEAL. It is very specific. It is about ceding control of vital interests when we don't have to and shouldn't. We don't have to hand over the keys to the house in order to win friends and allies. That is absurd, ridiculous, shameful, cowardly; it is in THE INTEREST OF MUSLIM NATIONS to ally with us to fight radical Islam and global terrorism. We don't have to BUY their support with bad deals and, much worse, pretend that we are helping to fight terrorism by solidifyng commercial contacts that benefit the few rather than the many. I heard at least two of the Bush machiavels yesterday telling me that we desperately needed the UAE because it was a "valued ally," then told we are racists or nativists to oppose The Deal. That, following up on Bush's eagerness to veto a deal he supposedly hadn't known anything about, flipped a switch in my head about Bush and friends. NO MAS.

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 01:59 PM
Cosmoline-

Is there any reason to believe that the Europeans (including Brits) with large Muslim populations and governments hamstrung by their own political correctness, are a safer bet than international business types from Dubai?

Yes. They may have large Mulsim populations, but their management firms employ very few if any of them. There is a built-in security system inherent in such firms. Any Muslim they do hire is going to get screened by their own security people and going to have to blend in with the non-Muslim staff. There are no such safeguards in the UAE. Indeed in that case a GOVERNMENT that supported the TALIBAN is running the show. They own most of the company.

I know some of the international business types from Dubai. Like I said I think they're fine and I think we can do business with each other. But this is asking too much. Beyond the surface of westernization this is still a deeply alien nation we're talking about. That's not bad or good in and of itself. It's fine if they worship an alien diety and have bizarre notions about the future of the planet. We can still trade. But we can't let them run our ports. It's really simply. Think about it for a second--THESE GUYS RECOGNIZED THE TALIBAN! That should scare the bejesus out of you right there.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 02:00 PM
It's far less likely that AQ would find a willing participant among an established British or Dutch port managment company.

Refusing to let a bunch of yahoos who approved of the TALIBAN just a few years ago run our ports is not "isolationism." I've put up with a lot of nonsense from the GW administration. But to have them try to cram this load of excrement down our gullets, then have their spin doctors claim we're "racist" or isolationist for objecting is OVER THE LINE.

The one thing I could always say about GW was that he would never give in to the terrorists. I can't say that anymore, and my support for him is now at an end. Thankfully the GOP leadership seems to be coming to the same conclusion. Just like George I, this idiot has chosen his Arab friends over us. He's more concerned with avoiding an insult to the Gulf states than protecting the ports. He does not deserve to be President.

I might agree with you, except that I don't think I can make that judgment yet.

Perhaps he just wants these major ports to keep running smoothly. I've seen a port shutdown and it's really ugly.

There is a strong business case to be made for allowing this company to keep doing what it was doing before changing hands. That's what happened here.

I can't say for sure what the "truth" really is.

I find myself "defending" Bush's actions even when I don't agree with them lately, not because I want to defend them, but because those who pass judgment on them don't have complete information yet are so sure of themselves.

What I'm saying is, I don't know, and I have heard little that tells me that others really know, either.

longeyes
February 23, 2006, 02:03 PM
Just like George I, this idiot has chosen his Arab friends over us. He's more concerned with avoiding an insult to the Gulf states than protecting the ports. He does not deserve to be President.

+1

Bush is too compromised to run the show. That's now become obvious.

This attitude that we have to placate our "foreign friends," always be careful to honor THEIR interests, even at the expense of our own, smacks of the State Department mentality that has gotten us into so much trouble over the years. We have too many Bush clones at State "thinking internatiionally."

Biker
February 23, 2006, 02:05 PM
There's a whole lot of Iranian money in the UAE. Iran has a lot of businesses there. What happens if we impose sanctions on Iran? How will this pan out with a state owned business with a contolling interest in some of our largest ports?
Biker

carlrodd
February 23, 2006, 02:06 PM
The Deal is The Deal. No one is saying never trade with Arabs or Muslims. No one is saying Arabs or Muslims can't own anything in the U.S. This is about WHICH ASSETS, WHICH OWNERSHIP, WHICH DEAL. It is very specific. It is about ceding control of vital interests when we don't have to and shouldn't. We don't have to hand over the keys to the house in order to win friends and allies. That is absurd, ridiculous, shameful, cowardly; it is in THE INTEREST OF MUSLIM NATIONS to ally with us to fight radical Islam and global terrorism. We don't have to BUY their support with bad deals and, much worse, pretend that we are helping to fight terrorism by solidifyng commercial contacts that benefit the few rather than the many. I heard at least two of the Bush machiavels yesterday telling me that we desperately needed the UAE because it was a "valued ally," then told we are racists or nativists to oppose The Deal. That, following up on Bush's eagerness to veto a deal he supposedly hadn't known anything about, flipped a switch in my head about Bush and friends. NO MAS.

+1. as if there was anything wrong with being a nativist. i'll happily be a throwback in a throwback country. we don't even know who we are anymore, and we've forgotten what we were. and here some of us are splitting hairs about where republicans and democrats stand on this one issue. neither group stands for me; that much is clear.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 02:07 PM
+1

Bush is too compromised to run the show. That's now become obvious.

This attitude that we have to placate our "foreign friends," always be careful to honor THEIR interests, even at the expense of our own, smacks of the State Department mentality that has gotten us into so much trouble over the years. We have too many Bush clones at State "thinking internatiionally."

Don't forget that his opponent in the last election based his whole PLATFORM on "thinking internationally."

We'd better get some better options next time. How do we do it?

I've given up on thinking we can get a 3rd party president soon.

Whom can we support as a candidate?

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 02:08 PM
What I'm saying is, I don't know, and I have heard little that tells me that others really know, either.

Well, you know they supported the Taliban. And you know they're overwhelminging Muslim and Arab. And you know they provided some of the 9/11 hijackers. And you know they're from a highly unstable part of the world. And you know they're far too close to Iran.

What more do you need to know?

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 02:11 PM
Well, you know they supported the Taliban. And you know they're overwhelminging Muslim and Arab. And you know they provided some of the 9/11 hijackers. And you know they're from a highly unstable part of the world. And you know they're far too close to Iran.

What more do you need to know?

I guess what I'd want to know, first and foremost, is whether they'd bite the hand that feeds them. Would they be more or less likely to bomb their OWN business?

Good diplomacy is all about using your potential enemy's self-interest to avoid unnecessary deaths.

Biker
February 23, 2006, 02:14 PM
I guess what I'd want to know, first and foremost, is whether they'd bite the hand that feeds them. Would they be more or less likely to bomb their OWN business?

Good diplomacy is all about using your potential enemy's self-interest to avoid unnecessary deaths.
Is money their primary motivation, or their religion? An honest question.
Biker

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 02:14 PM
I guess what I'd want to know, first and foremost, is whether they'd bite the hand that feeds them. Would they be more or less likely to bomb their OWN business?

I'm sure their top level wouldn't. But all it takes is some guy with Cousin Fatwah who can shepherd even ONE container through our already horribly weak port security. The risk of that happening with a UAE owned port management company are vastly greater than with a European owned company.

Remember, OBL and most of the 9/11 terrorists were NOT poor guys from the back woods. They were primarily from westernized, wealthy backgrounds. JUST LIKE THE GUYS WHO RUN THIS PORT MANAGEMENT COMPANY. Heck OBL's dad was a major contractor who worked with the west on many projects. Who's to say none of these guys have a black sheep son they get a job for to straighten the boy out?

RealGun
February 23, 2006, 02:14 PM
I am proud to see the administration take the High Road on this one, as it has done on many other issues. What is appalling is the reaction of Congress without knowing what they are talking about.

I wonder what the Bush Bash of the Week will be on Monday. The Cheney hunting accident business seems like a year ago.

Biker
February 23, 2006, 02:18 PM
The Cheney hunting accident business seems like a year ago.
Not to the lead-poisoned lawyer, I'll bet.
;)
Biker

carlrodd
February 23, 2006, 02:21 PM
I am proud to see the administration take the High Road on this one, as it has done on many other issues. What is appalling is the reaction of Congress without knowing what they are talking about.

I wonder what the Bush Bash of the Week will be on Monday. The Cheney hunting accident business seems like a year ago.


is that a joke? was i wrong for laughing?

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 02:24 PM
I'm sure their top level wouldn't. But all it takes is some guy with Cousin Fatwah who can shepherd even ONE container through our already horribly weak port security. The risk of that happening with a UAE owned port management company are vastly greater than with a European owned company.


Uh, when no one even looks at 99% of the containers coming through enormous ports, I think it's hard to argue that there's any more risk.

Get a hold of some nukes, load them in containers with timers to prevent them from going off when loaded, and motion sensors to set them off when unloaded. Send them to a few ports. Doesn't matter who runs the ports. See?

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 02:30 PM
I am proud to see the administration take the High Road on this one, as it has done on many other issues. What is appalling is the reaction of Congress without knowing what they are talking about.

I wonder what the Bush Bash of the Week will be on Monday. The Cheney hunting accident business seems like a year ago.

Yes, how dare Congress try to keep the administration from letting the UAE run our ports! We must follow the President. He knows best.

BTW, this is most certainly not the Bush Bash of the Week. Look at the poll results here. Look at the poll results nationwide. Bush is running against the grain of red state and blue on this one. To misquote John ford he's a Texican way out on a limb. Unless Rove can beat some sense into him, that limb is going to snap. It has nada to do with Democrats. The man is simply completely wrong.

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 02:32 PM
Uh, when no one even looks at 99% of the containers coming through enormous ports, I think it's hard to argue that there's any more risk.

You're mixing up the issues. I know port security is weak, but that's ALL THE MORE REASON to have someone at the management helm we can really trust. CAUSE WE WON'T BE ABLE TO WATCH THEM!

Camp David
February 23, 2006, 02:32 PM
I am proud to see the administration take the High Road on this one, as it has done on many other issues...

The administration knows that if it lets Congress spit in Dubai's eye over this, real Americans will suffer... Congress is making Homeland Security a nighmare solely so that candiates gain political advantage... this issue has nothing at all to do with port security and everything to do with 2006 elections! UAE should file racial profile suits against every democrat (and republican) Congressmen/women against this deal! They're bigots and they're not helping national security a whit!

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 02:34 PM
So it's racist to oppose giving control of the ports to a government that supported the Taliban? You're going to have to explain how that works.

Camp David--you don't work near DC by any chance, do you ;-)

#shooter
February 23, 2006, 02:35 PM
John Kerry and John Edwards, with the help of Jimmy Carter and Michael Moore won the last election for Bush.
Gay marriage and abortion carry a certain percentage of the electorate -- smaller than the Republicans think, IMO
"Swing voters" on average don't give a crap about abortion or gay marriage because they're not firmly in one camp or the other, and because these issues seem largely artificial to many people. Their mixed opinions cancel each other out, one way or another.

Now politically, the port thing is interesting. On the one hand, it makes the Bush Administration look like it doesn't take national security seriously, which, in turn makes it look like the PATRIOT Act, etc. are more about an internal power grab than anything else. On the other hand, the very Democrats who have been downplaying the threat of international terrorism for a while now, are all of a sudden screaming about how big this threat is. This makes them look somewhat silly in an era where their quotes from 6 months back can be found and replicated easily. And many Republicans have distanced themselves from the Bush administration on this; this makes the issue, such as it is, about the administration rather than the party. This only matters politically because Bush won't be running again, but that's a crucial fact. If the GOP is seen as synonymous with Bush, that doesn't bode well for their next candidate. But Hillary is a divider, not a uniter. The next election might end up being about individuals, too, more than parties.

Your right. Kerry was disingenuous, Edwards was a non-starter, Carter and Moore need to shut up if they want the Dems to win. The Dems are starting to see the light so they are distancing themselves from Brady, trying to get cozier with religion, and appear stronger on defense. Many State Dems are not stopping pro-guns laws like they used to with the exception of the usual suspects (CA, NY, NJ, etc). I do think the moral issues helped the Rep base get out the vote, but I think your correct to say swing voters cancelled each other out.

The port issue is very interesting. This admin has been pushing for tighter laws and restrictions yet they don’t see the irony of the port situation. It has a tinge of cronyism. I personally think this admin’s secrecy is starting to hurt it. They are trying to pull this “trust us” bit with the ports, but Katrina proved we shouldn’t trust them. It is ironic that the government wants to listen to what we say on the phone, obtain Google’s records, and collect information from public libraries, etc yet they claim executive privilege and hide in secrecy.

Does anyone find it weird that once this deal started getting exposed the President admitted “he wasn’t aware of the deal until it was done?” What is that about?
Is “I didn’t know” a defense to the criticism he is now getting? Then threating a veto after he said he wasn’t aware of the deal until it was done is also strange. Or is it just me.

The Daily Show loves to show clips of politicians from either side contradicting themselves on policy. It is lame that Kerry got tagged for flip flopping when it is so pervasive on both sides, incuding Bush and this ports lease.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 02:35 PM
You're mixing up the issues. I know port security is weak, but that's ALL THE MORE REASON to have someone at the management helm we can really trust. CAUSE WE WON'T BE ABLE TO WATCH THEM!

Nukes go off in Long Beach, Seattle, Hoboken and New Orleans. Doesn't matter who's watching.

They're from some port on the other side of the world, where we have no control over what gets loaded. Managers sitting in offices in downtown San Diego chatting up Chinese exporters don't matter.

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 02:37 PM
So basically you just want us to give up? Maybe it is pointless. But I'd still like to put up some semblance of a fight before letting the mullahs take direct control.

orionengnr
February 23, 2006, 02:38 PM
Well, from what I read (still not independently corroborated, but not yet refuted either) NO US OR BRIT COMPANIES BID ON THE CONTRACT. Perhaps no-one else bid on it, period.

Can anyone confirm or deny this?

So many of you talk about the "big picture", but if the above is true, and you will not allow the UAE to run this Deal, then what?

Options:

--Have the .gov take over...all the Ports currently operated by foreign interests not mirroring ours (does China concern anyone?). Open your wallet (wide) and grab your ankles (tightly).
--Let the Ports close. Obviously not a realistic suggestion.
--Are there other options am I overlooking?

Bad deal all around...very likely true. But if we only have a small percentage of the facts (and this appears to be the case) at least be open-minded enough to ask some questions instead of jumping up and down screaming.

BTW--My opinion (since you asked) is that Bill Frist is on the right track. Take 45 days, look at it, and make a decision when more of the facts are in.

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 02:41 PM
As long as that decision involves telling the UAE thanks but no thanks, I'm all for it.

carlrodd
February 23, 2006, 02:44 PM
The administration knows that if it lets Congress spit in Dubai's eye over this, real Americans will suffer... Congress is making Homeland Security a nighmare solely so that candiates gain political advantage... this issue has nothing at all to do with port security and everything to do with 2006 elections! UAE should file racial profile suits against every democrat (and republican) Congressmen/women against this deal! They're bigots and they're not helping national security a whit!


well, you got one thing right.

to congress and the executive branch it's all a big selfish game....a big good ol' boy tug of war. all the more reason to not pay a lick of attention to what either side is saying....i couldn't care less about where they stand. my own logic, and my observations in regard to the path this country is plodding down are more than sufficient for me to conclude that this is a bad, bad idea.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 02:45 PM
So basically you just want us to give up?

Hell no.

I just think that Congress is barking up the wrong tree because it's politically easy to make noise about this, when it probably won't change anything.

There are more important fish to fry in the security arena, and Congress doesn't want to bother. No matter what happens, they're the same lazy politicians.

#shooter
February 23, 2006, 02:49 PM
neither group stands for me; that much is clear.
No kidding.:barf: W need a 3rd, 4th, 5th party.

longeyes
February 23, 2006, 02:52 PM
I guess what I'd want to know, first and foremost, is whether they'd bite the hand that feeds them. Would they be more or less likely to bomb their OWN business?

What's $7 billion to crush the United States? A pittance.

Business is subservient to religion in the Muslim scheme of things. Haven't we learned that by now?

In the long run I doubt we can protect our ports, or much of anything else. There's only one protection: the promise of retaliatory annihilation that forces those in power to control the delinquents.

Camp David
February 23, 2006, 02:54 PM
So it's racist to oppose giving control of the ports to a government that supported the Taliban?
No... you misunderstood... it is abject racial profiling to deny a company a federal contract simply because of their ethnic background; don't blame me... I didn't write Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs)... Congress did! I'm simply citing them! If this UAE Ports contract is delayed or stopped, they have a great case in the bag of outright discrimination by the Federal Government based solely on existing FAR regs! And their evidence of precedence can be simply the current Asian operator of the Long Beach, CA yard and port facility! Wish I was a lawyer...something tells me UAE has a tremendous case!

#shooter
February 23, 2006, 02:56 PM
Not to the lead-poisoned lawyer, I'll bet.
;)
Biker
I love the apology Whittington gave. Do you think the VP accepted his apology for shooting him? I'm sorry you shot me? Wow. :eek:

Biker
February 23, 2006, 03:00 PM
No... you misunderstood... it is abject racial profiling to deny a company a federal contract simply because of their ethnic background; don't blame me... I didn't write Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs)... Congress did! I'm simply citing them! If this UAE Ports contract is delayed or stopped, they have a great case in the bag of outright discrimination by the Federal Government based solely on existing FAR regs! And their evidence of precedence can be simply the current Asian operator of the Long Beach, CA yard and port facility! Wish I was a lawyer...something tells me UAE has a tremendous case!
Does a foreign government have the right to sue the U.S. under the FAR regs? I doubt it. In any case, I'm sure that somewhere, somehow, the Patriot Act would provide a loophole if needed.
;)
Biker

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 03:01 PM
No... you misunderstood... it is abject racial profiling to deny a company a federal contract simply because of their ethnic background; don't blame me... I didn't write Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs)... Congress did! I'm simply citing them! If this UAE Ports contract is delayed or stopped, they have a great case in the bag of outright discrimination by the Federal Government based solely on existing FAR regs! And their evidence of precedence can be simply the current Asian operator of the Long Beach, CA yard and port facility! Wish I was a lawyer...something tells me UAE has a tremendous case!

Yup.

And that further demonstrates the stupidity of Congress, especially when things like "discrimination" come up. We have no obligation to ensure a "level playing field" beyond our borders, but I'll bet that was just too politically difficult to even discuss.

But then who might have thought that there might be a deadly conflict based on race or religion or something? In all of world history, that's never happened before.:rolleyes:

#shooter
February 23, 2006, 03:01 PM
I guess what I'd want to know, first and foremost, is whether they'd bite the hand that feeds them.
I think that is the crux of the issue. History has shown the answer to be yes. Saddam and Osama were both allies at some point. The ones that say they are our allies have huge populations that think we are the enemy. It is a tough call. I don't see why we need to give them any more money than we have too because we know that some if not all of that money may be used against us like it is with oil.

Biker
February 23, 2006, 03:01 PM
I love the apology Whittington gave. Do you think the VP accepted his apology for shooting him? I'm sorry you shot me? Wow. :eek:
Hell, I'd let the Dickenater shoot me too for the reward that Whittington is sure to reap over this fiasco.
:)
Biker

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 03:05 PM
I love the apology Whittington gave. Do you think the VP accepted his apology for shooting him? I'm sorry you shot me? Wow. :eek:

1. The guy really WAS at fault. I might apologize to have put a friend in that position. I think Cheney did feel horrible. I realize that Cheney isn't actually considered a human being by anyone who isn't a die-hard Republican, but give me a break.

2. Who cares about this incident anyway? Why did anyone ever care, apart from hoping, just as a human being, that Whittington would be okay?

I think that the press time wasted on this helped obscure some really important world events. Maybe the press wanted to divert attention from their own unwillingness to show a few innocuous cartoons in the name of freedom of expresson.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 03:06 PM
I think that is the crux of the issue. History has shown the answer to be yes. Saddam and Osama were both allies at some point. The ones that say they are our allies have huge populations that think we are the enemy. It is a tough call. I don't see why we need to give them any more money than we have too because we know that some if not all of that money may be used against us like it is with oil.

A very sensible and balanced response. You raise the important questions.

There's been too much hysteria, but I will agree that there IS substance behind it all.

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 03:26 PM
'm simply citing them! If this UAE Ports contract is delayed or stopped, they have a great case in the bag of outright discrimination by the Federal Government based solely on existing FAR regs! And their evidence of precedence can be simply the current Asian operator of the Long Beach, CA yard and port facility! Wish I was a lawyer...something tells me UAE has a tremendous case!

That law has no application to foreign states. We're not obliged to let them buy things. Moreover the federal government is free to discriminate against foreign companies and foreign governments. They're actually supposed to.

RugerGuy
February 23, 2006, 03:29 PM
1. The guy really WAS at fault. I might apologize to have put a friend in that position. I think Cheney did feel horrible. I realize that Cheney isn't actually considered a human being by anyone who isn't a die-hard Republican, but give me a break.

2. Who cares about this incident anyway? Why did anyone ever care, apart from hoping, just as a human being, that Whittington would be okay?

I think that the press time wasted on this helped obscure some really important world events. Maybe the press wanted to divert attention from their own unwillingness to show a few innocuous cartoons in the name of freedom of expresson.I voted for Bush...twice. I like Cheney and think he'd make a great POTUS. But I have to disagree with you on this one. Whoever pulls the trigger is at fault. As a hunter I can tell you how many times since I started bird hunting[51 years] that I've been told to be sure of my target before I pull the trigger. Its a cardinal rule of hunting safety. Guys that pull stupid stunts like this one don't belong in the woods. They do a disservice to all the safe hunters who actually try to be safe.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 03:57 PM
I voted for Bush...twice. I like Cheney and think he'd make a great POTUS. But I have to disagree with you on this one. Whoever pulls the trigger is at fault. As a hunter I can tell you how many times since I started bird hunting[51 years] that I've been told to be sure of my target before I pull the trigger. Its a cardinal rule of hunting safety. Guys that pull stupid stunts like this one don't belong in the woods. They do a disservice to all the safe hunters who actually try to be safe.

Let me rephrase that. I'm not absolving Cheney, and Cheney didn't try to weasel either.

I'm just speaking as a person. When hunting, I make it a point to be aware of anyone, anywhere in my vicinity at all times. If there are non-hunters anywhere around, I lower my shotgun no matter how many birds there are in front of me.

But it I were Whittington, I, too, would feel that I was partially to blame -- just as a person. I take firearms safety VERY seriously in all situations. And that includes not going downrange. I'm not saying that Whittington was to blame according to the Hunter Safety Handbook I got.

RealGun
February 23, 2006, 04:02 PM
is that a joke? was i wrong for laughing?

Excuse me for not fitting in, but I give credit where credit is due.

Merkin.Muffley
February 23, 2006, 04:05 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11522484/

9/11 report cited possible bin Laden, U.A.E. ties

WASHINGTON - The United States raised concerns with the United Arab Emirates seven years ago about possible ties between officials in that country and Osama bin Laden, according to a section of the Sept. 11 commission’s report that details a possible missed opportunity to kill the al-Qaida leader.

Republicans and Democrats alike are raising concerns this week about the Bush administration’s decision to let a U.A.E.-operated company take over operations at six American ports, in part citing ties the Sept. 11 hijackers had to the Persian Gulf country.

President Bush has called the U.A.E. a close partner on the war on terror since Sept. 11, and his aides have listed numerous examples of the country’s help.

The Sept. 11 commission’s report released last year also raised concerns U.A.E. officials were directly associating with bin Laden as recently as 1999.

Hunting camp cited
The report states U.S. intelligence believed that bin Laden was visiting an area in the Afghan desert in February 1999 near a hunting camp used by U.A.E. officials, and that the U.S. military planned a missile strike.

Intelligence from local tribal sources indicated “bin Laden regularly went from his adjacent camp to the larger camp where he visited the Emirates,” the report said.

“National technical intelligence confirmed the location and description of the larger camp and showed the nearby presence of an official aircraft of the United Arab Emirates. But the location of bin Laden’s quarters could not be pinned down so precisely,” the report said.

The missile attack was never launched, and bin Laden moved on, the report said.

A month later, top White House counterterrorism official Richard Clarke “called a U.A.E. official to express his concerns about possible associations between Emirati officials and bin Laden,” the report said.

Anger at CIA
CIA officials hoped to continue staking out the Afghan camp in hopes bin Laden would return and a possible strike could be launched.

But “imagery confirmed that less than a week after Clarke’s phone call, the camp was hurriedly dismantled and the site was deserted,” the report said.

CIA officials were “irate” and “thought the dismantling of the camp erased a possible site for targeting bin Laden, the report said.

At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday, Sen. Carl Levin, the ranking Democrat, asked Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt if he was aware of the 9-11 commission’s assertion that the United Arab Emirates represents “a persistent counterterrorism problem” for the United States.

Kimmitt replied that administration figures involved in the decision to approve the deal “looked very carefully” at information from the intelligence community.

“Any time a foreign-government controlled company comes in,” Kimmitt said, “the intelligence assessment is of both the country and the company.”

“Just raise your hand if anybody talked to the 9-11 commission,” Levin told the administration representatives at the witness table. Nobody raised a hand.

carlrodd
February 23, 2006, 04:17 PM
Excuse me for not fitting in, but I give credit where credit is due.

i don't know about all that. i myself just wanted to give credit where credit is do. that was some very subtle, intelligent humor. i mean to equate constant executive shucking and jiving, unbelievably confused and constantly changing stories, and a complete olympian diety-esque disregard for the basic rights and concerns of the common american with taking the high road is.....well....the most brilliant farce since bill clinton's white house sexcapades.

Lobotomy Boy
February 23, 2006, 04:25 PM
I'm staying out of this discussion because I am not sure where I stand, but has anyone noticed that the total percentages on the poll at the top equals something like 118 percent? Is that like the amp on This is Spinal Tap that goes up to 11, which is one more than 10?

Biker
February 23, 2006, 04:36 PM
One word for ya - Diebold.:cool:
Biker

Lobotomy Boy
February 23, 2006, 04:57 PM
Regardless of the merits of this issue, the fact that a group as generally conservative and Republican as this forum is only giving the administration 20 percent support on this issue should have the Republican party quaking in its boots. Combined with the ham-fisted way in which the admin has handled everything from the invasion of Iraq to the Cheney shooting, I'm starting to think we may see a movement towards impeachment even before the Dems take over congress in November, maybe as an attempt to prevent that prediction from becoming a reality.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2006, 04:59 PM
I don't think the Dems will take over Congress.

Why?

Over the past year or two, no matter how bad the Republicans look, the Democrats manage to one-up them within a week.

Lobotomy Boy
February 23, 2006, 05:04 PM
True. At the moment the best thing going for the Republican party is the Democratic party. The problem is that the Democratic party is not really a party but a coalition of factions, factions mostly representing groups so far out of the American mainstream that they have no chance of electing a dog catcher on their own.

Camp David
February 23, 2006, 05:08 PM
At the moment the best thing going for the Republican party is the Democratic party...

That's been the case for the last eight years... every time Dr. Dean speaks the GOP gains another voter!!! If the DNC ever fires Dean he will be hired immediately by the RNC as a recruiting tool!!!! ;)

Merkin.Muffley
February 23, 2006, 06:17 PM
What happened to the VETO? I'm starting to wonder if President Bush even believes what he says these days.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11517474/

WASHINGTON - As Democrats attacked the Bush administration over whether a United Arab Emirates company should be allowed to oversee operations at six U.S. ports, President Bush's top adviser said Thursday that he would be willing to accept a slight delay in the deal.

When asked in an interview on Fox News whether Bush would accept a postponement, White House senior advisor Karl Rove said: “Yes. Look, there are some hurdles, regulatory hurdles, that this still needs to go through on the British side as well that are going to be concluded next week."

“There’s no requirement that it close, you know, immediately after that,” he said on “The Tony Snow Show.”

Earlier Thursday, the senior Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee angrily accused the Bush administration of ignoring the law in considering the port deal.

The accusation by Sen. Carl Levin came as administration officials tried to calm the uproar, saying they spent three months reviewing the deal and that it would not threaten U.S. security.

“Is there not one agency in this government that believes this takeover could affect the national security of the United States?” the Michigan Democrat asked.

“We’re not aware of a single national security concern raised recently that was not part of [the review]," Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt told a committee briefing.

Levin insisted that the law that established the multiagency panel specifically said that any such review should be lengthened by 45 days if it could have an impact on national security.

Levin, raising his voice, told Kimmitt, “If you want the law changed, come to Congress and change it but don’t ignore it.”

Kimmitt responded, “We didn’t ignore the law. Concerns were raised. They were resolved.”

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., also was critical, citing “red flags” that should have slowed down the approval. She also called the approval process “a failure of judgment” because officials “did not alert the president, the secretary of the treasury and the secretary of defense” that several of our critical ports would be turned over to foreign country.

Chairman John Warner, R-Va., in a very unusual procedure on Capitol Hill, allowed reporters to question the administration witnesses.

Warner sided with the administration, emphasizing the U.A.E.’s cooperation in the war on terrorism, including allowing a large number of port calls by U.S. military and commercial ships and making its airfields available to the U.S. military.

President’s new pledge
Bush, talking to reporters at the conclusion of a Cabinet meeting earlier Thursday, said that “people don’t need to worry about security.”

Under secret conditions of the agreement with the administration, the Dubai company promised to cooperate with any U.S. investigations as a condition of the $6.8 billion deal, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The U.S. government chose not to impose other routine restrictions.

“The more people learn about the transaction that has been scrutinized and approved by my government,” Bush said, “the more they’ll be comforted that our ports will be secure.”

The president said he was struck by the fact that people were not concerned about port security when a British company was running the port operation, but they felt differently about an Arab company at the helm. He said the United Arab Emirates was a valuable partner in the war in terror.

Government ownership an issue
Even before Thursday’s hearing, congressional critics had noted that the London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which previously operated at those ports, is a publicly traded company while Dubai Ports World is effectively controlled by the government in Abu Dhabi. Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Clinton have said they will introduce legislation to prohibit companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from running port operations in the United States.

The vast majority of U.S. ports are owned by foreign companies, and security is handled separately by the U.S. government. According to Stephen Flynn, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, ownership is not the main reason for vulnerability. Regardless of who owns the ports, the volume of goods flowing through them is so massive that providing security oversight for incoming containers is a daunting task, Flynn says.

Bush said his administration would continue talks with members of Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike — who have rebelled against the takeover. He said the briefings were “bringing a sense of calm to this issue.”

“This wouldn’t be going forward if we weren’t certain our ports would be secure,” Bush said Tuesday.

In Lebanon, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that the agreement was thoroughly vetted in a review process that took approximately three months. “This is supposed to be a process that raises security concerns, if they are there, but does not presume that a country in the Middle East should not be capable of doing a deal like this.” She described the United Arab Emirates as “a very good ally” and said “if more details need to be made available then I’m sure they will be.”

longhorngunman
February 23, 2006, 08:51 PM
The Congress and the Administration will agree to hold hearings on the matter. The story dies and the press goes off on another Bush is bad story and within two months the UAE will get the ports deal and no one will care:) . And yes Cheney is at fault for shooting his friend( and I love the V.P.!) and will have to live with that and think about what he did. LB, sorry to bust your bubble but Bush ain't getting impeached and ain't leaving till January 2009, learn to accept that and move on. :)

bg
February 23, 2006, 09:56 PM
This just keeps getting stranger and stranger..Looks like the
fix is in. By the way, it's nice someone coming to our aid, but
at what cost ? Ck it out >
http://www.yahoo.com/s/274952

UAE Gave $100 Million for Katrina Relief

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 10:06 PM
The Congress and the Administration will agree to hold hearings on the matter. The story dies and the press goes off on another Bush is bad story and within two months the UAE will get the ports deal and no one will care:) .

I will. We will. This isn't going to go away unless Bush admits he was wrong and pulls the plug. And frankly the time to do that was as soon as the story emerged. If this goes through it will hang around the neck of the GOP right through 2008. I can think of no criticism of the adminsitration that's cut across party lines like this. It strikes almost every American as a very bad idea. Think of the symbolism of giving control over the port of New York City to the very nation which birthed two of the terrorists who destroyed the Port Authority's biggest buildings.

orionengnr
February 23, 2006, 10:13 PM
Quote:
I can think of no criticism of the adminsitration that's cut across party lines like this.
End Quote.

Does the name Harriet Meyers mean anything to you?:rolleyes:

longeyes
February 23, 2006, 11:03 PM
President Bush's top adviser said Thursday that he would be willing to accept a slight delay in the deal.

He's willing, huh? An Imperial concession? Delusional--that's the word.

Cosmoline
February 23, 2006, 11:19 PM
Quote:
I can think of no criticism of the adminsitration that's cut across party lines like this.
End Quote.

Does the name Harriet Meyers mean anything to you?:rolleyes:

But that hardly stirred the emotion like this issue. Nobody was going to lose his seat because of Meyers.

longhorngunman
February 23, 2006, 11:54 PM
So Cosmoline, I should put your vote down for the Communist government of China as the winner of the port deal then?:)

Lobotomy Boy
February 24, 2006, 12:07 AM
LB, sorry to bust your bubble but Bush ain't getting impeached and ain't leaving till January 2009, learn to accept that and move on.

Funny thing is a lot of people were saying the exact same thing about Richard Nixon in February 1974.

Cosmoline
February 24, 2006, 02:06 AM
So Cosmoline, I should put your vote down for the Communist government of China as the winner of the port deal then?:)

Sure. At least I know they'll just spy on us.

Harve Curry
February 24, 2006, 03:34 PM
Common sence dictates: Against any foriegner in charge of our ports.

Master Blaster
February 24, 2006, 03:57 PM
The real problem at our ports aint who owns them. Its who owns the ships that dock there and the containerized freight that they carry. Currently about 2% of those containers are opened and inspected when they arrive. A terrorist could buy a container in Antwerp fill it with a nuclear device sealit up and have it shipped to NYC, and there is only a 2% chance that anyone would look inside.
This is how most of the drugs and other contraband enter the USA.
Tell me that Saudi owned liberian registered oil tanker that leaves Riyaad filled with light sweet crude, do you know whats in the bottom of the ballast tank, or in the bottom of the 10,000,000 barrel oil bunker when it pulls up to the Sun oil refinery in Chester Pa????? Do you think the Coast guard goes diving in the crude oil to inspect the bottom of the tanker??????



Thats the real problem.

308win
February 24, 2006, 05:47 PM
The port that NYC shares with NJ has six (I believe is the number) terminals (which is what we are talking about) operated by foreign entities 2 of which are operated by the Chinese, one by a Dutch or Danish company, one or two by the British Company being bought by the UAE, and one by another foreign entity whom I can't recall. So what is the all of the hand wringing about again? We need the goodwill and suport of the UAE if we are to continue to have a presence in the Gulf. I am not a Bush supporter but this is one of two things he has gotten right, the other being putting the foreign terroist suspects at Guantanamo until they get sorted out.

longeyes
February 24, 2006, 07:28 PM
In a situation like this you have to make clear to the other side that they have a vested interest in precluding any major terrorist act. We can't stop every attack but odds are the Muslim sphere can--if it wants to. At some point we will adopt a policy of holding responsible those who run the show in the Muslim world and threatening total annihilation. It isn't fair, that's true, but neither is terrorism, especially of the WMD variety. I don't see this Administration, for a variety of reasons, adopting this strategy but this Administration is just buying time as far as I'm concerned, not solving anything.

The issue with our ports is symptomatic of much larger issues that have to do with American competitiveness globally and, yes, American solvency. If we don't get sober, tighten our belts, and take some steps in the direction of austerity we will find "foreigners" running everything that matters in one generation.

longeyes
February 24, 2006, 07:30 PM
Chertoff says he didn't know about The Deal. Rumsfeld says the same thing. So does Bush. Hmmm.

Lying or incompetence? You pick.

Camp David
February 24, 2006, 07:38 PM
Chertoff says he didn't know about The Deal. Rumsfeld says the same thing. So does Bush. Hmmm.

Federal Department Heads rarely involve themselves in Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs), under which this port contract was more than likely handled. It never rose to the level Dems are making it... why should it? However, it was reviewed by HomeLand Security and approved and I agree with that...

Biker
February 24, 2006, 07:48 PM
Isn't Chertoff in charge of Homeland Security?:scrutiny:
Biker

Camp David
February 24, 2006, 08:07 PM
Isn't Chertoff in charge of Homeland Security Yes. But the same issue arises... Department Heads don'r review each federal contract (there are thousands) and postulate on every potential ramification of each... this is a low level issue... For example, I understand the new bulkheads on airliners seperating cockpit from rest of plane being retrofitted have a foreign contractor involved. Should this issue rise up to Secretary of Defense or President, or be reoutinely handled by low level FAA guy best trained to deal with issue? Another example: when you have question with computer operating system do you call Tech Support or Bill Gates? If Microsoft was hiring a small contractor to help with building transport of items, do you think Bill Gates would be involved (or even knowledgable) of contract or would it be handled by Microsoft's Facility Management office?

Biker
February 24, 2006, 08:13 PM
CD, you ol' SOB, even *you* have to admit that the ramifications, politically and as it pertains to Homeland Security, of Portgate goes beyond the piddly crap that you're describing here.
Be honest, Friend.
Biker

Camp David
February 24, 2006, 08:20 PM
CD, you ol' SOB, even *you* have to admit that the ramifications, politically and as it pertains to Homeland Security, of Portgate goes beyond the piddly crap that you're describing here. Actually no, but I credit the Dems for fanning the flames on this issue with nuclear winds! They've done an excellent job... take a low-level issue that has no impact on security and turn it into a campaign issue to assure Dems get elected in the fall of 06! I'll give 'em credit... most of the nation's ports (West and South Coast) are already controlled by foreign operators (mostly Korean)...nobody gave a second thought that UAE would even bat an eyelash!

Let me ask another question here... Do you know how many American ships (civilian and military) are right now in UAE waters or under UAE control?

More than 700!

UAE is our only friendly port in the Mideast.... Military and Civilian ships use UAE and Dubai ports exclusively... So we can trust them there but not here huh?

It is "portgate" as you say, but this is a political issue only; it has no bearing on national security!

longeyes
February 24, 2006, 08:22 PM
Department Heads don'r review each federal contract (there are thousands) and postulate on every potential ramification of each... this is a low level issue...

Yes, control of our ports is a "low-level issue." So was Katrina. Delegate, delegate. Illegal immigration?--leave that to the underlings. Small potatoes.

What is high-level is shoring up your fiefdom, computing your retirement payout, and reconning the next good eatery in D.C.

longeyes
February 24, 2006, 08:25 PM
Once a problem becomes rampant, entrenched, and apparently irreversible, it becomes a non-problem. I get it.

It's like the illegal immigration problem. Leave the door open, then tell us there are too many here to do anything about. I get it. I do.

Let's get the masses accustomed to the fact that foreigners own everything that matters. To be alarmed about that is xenophobia or outright racism. I get it. Yeah.

longeyes
February 24, 2006, 08:28 PM
Should this issue rise up to Secretary of Defense or President, or be reoutinely handled by low level FAA guy best trained to deal with issue? Another example: when you have question with computer operating system do you call Tech Support or Bill Gates?

You've given an excellent argument for small-scale, "bubble-up" governance. National security should be the province of ALL of us "vigilantes."

Camp David
February 24, 2006, 08:34 PM
... National security should be the province of...

National Security is the domain of the President, the National Security Civilian Apparatus (FBI, CIA, and HS) and Military Apparatus (DoD)... what this issue concerns is political not national security. UAE controlling throughput in six Atlantic ports does not involve national security (Homeland Security will provide security). As the president said, there is no security problem here with UAE...

longeyes
February 24, 2006, 09:46 PM
The President doesn't see illegal immigration or budget-busting as national security issues either. He should.

EssToy
February 24, 2006, 10:14 PM
First post here. I am against any foriegn control of anythig having to do with national security. I really do not understand why domestic companies did not bid on this.

Scott

gunsmith
February 25, 2006, 07:11 AM
I am glad you posted on my thread first, be sure to comment on my other threads too...:D

RealGun
February 25, 2006, 08:42 AM
I really do not understand why domestic companies did not bid on this.- esstoy

Perhaps because they are afraid of the longshoreman's union, which is currently under indictment for racketeering by the DOJ, as of last summer. Even our own companies are subject to corruption. Until or unless UAE diplomatic status changes, they are eligible.

longeyes
February 25, 2006, 12:12 PM
One thing we can assume about the longshoremen and their friends: they have a good thing going. They are not about to nuke any U.S. port., especially with themselves in it.

If the U.S. lacks companies that can serve us in critical strategic functions then it should find creative ways to develop and encourage them.

I think the crux of all of our problems lies in our addiction to, and worship of, consumerism, which has not only vast economic but also moral implications.

Over.

longeyes
February 25, 2006, 12:15 PM
Does anyone believe that Bush, Rumsfeld, and Chertoff don't know about business deals of this magnitude and far-reaching implications?

Handing over control, however partial, however qualified, of strategic assets is bad. Allowing one's government to condescend to you is far worse. We are not children, we are not fools. It's time we made that abundantly clear.

RealGun
February 25, 2006, 12:40 PM
Does anyone believe that Bush, Rumsfeld, and Chertoff don't know about business deals of this magnitude and far-reaching implications?

Why would anyone bother to explain anything to you, if you would always assume they were lying? The whole purpose of CFIUS is to delegate executive branch responsibility for reviewing foreign acquisitions. If there are no objections, the transaction is not escalated to the President or put on Cabinet meeting agendas. However, my own Senator Graham made the now famous remark that this deal was "politically tone deaf", and I don't disagree. The tone deaf part though is on the part of CFIUS being insensitive and even derelict in waiving the formal investigation requirement. I might support rolling someones head, but it wouldn't be the President's. He should have competent Cabinet members to which he can comfortably delegate Executive Branch responsibilities.

This is the text of the letter from Senators sent to the chairman of CFIUS:

http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/Dubai_Ports_letter.pdf

Manedwolf
February 25, 2006, 12:45 PM
To Realgun:

"Why would anyone bother to explain anything to you, if you would always assume they were lying?"

Because we pay their salaries. Because WE employ them. They work for US. And WE demand it.

They are not nobility. They are not royalty. They are public servants answerable to We the People, despite the frighteningly serflike mentality of a swath of the population that thinks of them as some sort of noble, wiser class.

"He should have competent Cabinet members to which he can comfortably delegate Executive Branch responsibilities."

A ship's captain is responsible for the actions of every man and woman under his command, and it is his DUTY to know what is being done under his command at all times.

The office of the President of the United States is no different. And one thing that Bush truly can be faulted on is that he is remarkably incurious.

A president needs to say "The buck stops here". Not "I was not informed of where the buck stops by the assistant to the vice-secretary of the office that reports to the secretary of the department of redundancy department."

And as for competent Cabinet members, yes, well, HIRING competent experts rather than political appointees who "fail upwards" would go a long way towards that.

RealGun
February 25, 2006, 01:53 PM
A ship's captain is responsible for the actions of every man and woman under his command, and it is his DUTY to know what is being done under his command at all times. - Manedwolf

The paradox here is that you wouldn't value an honest admission that someone above the decision making process didn't see it coming. Some work really hard at finding a mean-spirited position, valuing being angry and prosecutorial (partisan) more than any other aspect.

Manedwolf
February 25, 2006, 04:05 PM
Yes, they do. And some wouldn't find fault with their Sinless Can Do No Wrong Holy High Lord Exalted Leader if they pulled off a rubber mask to reveal themselves to be a horrible alien. :barf: (And that applies to people who are so blindly loyal to either party, mind you)

And you miss the point entirely. He is SUPPOSED to know what is going on! He is supposed to DEMAND that people inform him before things like this go into action!

If something like this went forward and went out to the full view of the world and public and "he didn't know about it", there's two reasons possible. One, he's lying. Two, he is NOT in command of everything he should be command of. This should have been on his desk, in his full knowledge, since it's an utmost matter of national security.

So he's either lying, or he's not in charge as he should be. Either way is bad.

And BTW, 'honest' administrations aren't so darned fetishistic about every single innocuous decision and event and situation needing to be a SECRET. They're even re-classifying junk that's been public since the late 1940's. :scrutiny: Most of the stuff we're finding out that's gone wrong is only because some fed-up public employee or FBI or CIA member of a scapegoated division leaks it to the press. That's hardly a healthy "we the people" government.

The standard greeting in Washington these days is "Shh! Secret!"...but they're selling port control to Islamist nations and not securing the borders. Tell me that's healthy for the nation...

RealGun
February 25, 2006, 05:20 PM
And BTW, 'honest' administrations aren't so darned fetishistic about every single innocuous decision and event and situation needing to be a SECRET. - Manedwolf

Before you expand the scope of your complaints and of this thread, consider that Section 5021 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 specifies that CFIUS is confidential by definition.

http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/international-affairs/exon-florio/

longeyes
February 25, 2006, 06:17 PM
Bush is handling this issue the same way he handled the criticism of his buddy Alberto Gonsalez. This is a President who takes everything personally, who refuses to listen to criticisms, worse, who doesn't think he has to. What I see, frankly, is a temper tantrum. Let's call it what it is.

I voted for the man twice, if only because the alternatives would have been worse (I thought), but I've had to realize that this man is dangerous to our national health--and not just because of Portgate.

RealGun
February 25, 2006, 06:58 PM
but I've had to realize that this man is dangerous to our national health - longeyes

Even more dangerous is Bush Bad Syndrome. It is simply not true that the President is always wrong. There is probably a medication of some sort. Be careful not to become one of pure malice and miss counting your blessings. You have less than a year until presidential campaigning starts in earnest, so just be patient.

Kodiaz
February 25, 2006, 07:07 PM
Worse than Bush is bad syndrome is it mutating into Republicans bad syndrome which I think will happen.

The last thing I want is for Hillary to win in a landslide thereby believing that she has some kind of mandate to turn this place into China.

longeyes
February 25, 2006, 07:36 PM
My attitude toward Bush has nothing to do with malice. Nor do I welcome Hillary, Giuliani, or McCain as an alternative. We are NOT limited to foolish choices from either party. If we find ourselves corralled that way, that is OUR fault, and, frankly, we can no longer permit ourselves to be manipulated any longer--if we want to survive as a viable Republic. As far as I'm concerned Bush and the Clinton duo are three heads on the same body, just variations on a pernicious, self-destructive theme.

Don't create a straw man, RealGun. Bush was right about tax cuts, about encouraging savings and investment, about reforming Social Security. His war policy is, to me, a work-in-progress; too early to say if it makes sense or advances this nation's interests or not. He is dead wrong on his overspending, expansion of the Federal gov't, refusal to control our southern border, and our lack of any sensible energy policy. Unfortunately, what he's wrong about is so momentous that it will cause the collapse of America as we know it within relatively few years.

You can think what you want. I think most of America is looking at Bush's behavior and going by its gut--and that does not bode well for Bush or his Administration. Something's rotten in Denmark-by-the-Potomac.

longeyes
February 25, 2006, 07:39 PM
The last thing I want is for Hillary to win in a landslide thereby believing that she has some kind of mandate to turn this place into China.

If you don't want Hillary, find a Republican with some ideas and some spine. The best the GOP can find is McCain, Giuliani, Romney, or Allen?

CAnnoneer
February 25, 2006, 10:13 PM
+1 longeyes

The only way HRC can win in 2008 is if all of the following hold:

1) Dems run her (probably will - they never seem to learn)
2) the Great Impostor keeps his wrecking course for the 2 remaining years
3) Reps nominate another RINO

Sadly, all sides seem headed to exactly that juncture in spacetime.

Biker
February 26, 2006, 01:03 AM
Subterfuge rears its ugly head.

www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20060223-051657-4981r

Biker

Manedwolf
February 26, 2006, 01:13 AM
Yes. Some of the most logical objections are coming from people with an (R) after their name, so this can't be called partisan. It's lawmakers who have been made irrelevant by a "decision" that completely bypassed them. They don't like it. I don't like it either. A deal to turn 21 ports...our STRATEGIC interests...over to the UAE. And the members of congress were left out of the loop!

And Bush's reaction is to, like a child, declare that he'll use his first ever veto not on overbloated spending...but to stop any measure meant to block this port deal.

WHY is he so adamant about it that he'd utterly alienate a growing number of his own party?

And it's not "hating Bush". It's mere acceptance of reality. You can stand on the tilting deck as more and more of the ship goes under, and say that people yelling that the ship is sinking just hate the ship, but you can only do that till the water closes over your head. Or, you can realize and say "Aw, crap, the ship is sinking, we need to do something to bail it out NOW"...and save it.

Ever watch the A&E Horatio Hornblower series? The one with the admiral everyone liked, but that kept venturing further and further into horrible strategic decisions that were endangering the ship, until he finally decided to put the ship in range of a fort above and try to fire up, the ship started getting nailed badly, and they had to decide whether he was unfit for command?

We ARE talking about the loss of the Republic, here. Doesn't matter if you like him. What's wrong is SO wrong, and SO serious, at this point...

Biker
February 26, 2006, 01:16 AM
With Bush, it will always be the "why" that grabs me. Why indeed...
Biker

RealGun
February 26, 2006, 07:22 AM
WHY is he so adamant about it that he'd utterly alienate a growing number of his own party? - Manedwolf

It is very simple actually. Everyone seems to ignore that UAE is an ally in good standing. If that status should be challenged, fine, but the entire diplomatic program is at risk when a country "in good standing" encounters blatant discrimination from the US. The charter of CFIUS includes preventing such discrimination. The initial reaction of Congress is inappropriate and shameful.

The President does a number of things in threatening a veto. First he is speaking on behalf of the Dept of State and all their diplomatic efforts and goals. Secondly he is telling Congress that the Executive Branch is not going to be run by committee to include the Legislative Branch. Functions delegated to the Executive Branch are going to be performed by same. If Congress has a technical complaint, let them say what it is. Lastly the President is defending and supporting his Cabinet. Congress is denying the realities of international trade on behalf of the naivete of the electorate. Who hasn't learned something about commerce as a result of all this?

Denying participation to UAE has very broad implications. I believe the President is aware of those implications, since there was an orchestrated fielding of Cabinet members and speeches on the subject of energy independence immediately following news of the ports deal.

The US cannot be cavalier about maintaining good relations with foreign countries when our oil comes from Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Nigeria. Those are just the top five, and only Canada presents a truly comfortable political environment. One half of our imports of crude are from OPEC countries. UAE as a US oil supplier is a very minor player, shipping primarily to Japan, but they have the ports and can control the Straits of Hormuz with shores on both sides of the straits. That passage provides shipping and naval access to the entire Persian Gulf.

Viewing a map, one can note that Iran is a short hop across the straits. It can easily be seen that good relations with UAE could be a strategic advantage in any confrontation with Iran. It can also be observed that Iran could invade UAE without US interest and presence in the Gulf and in UAE ports. It is really not a good time to say that UAE cannot be trusted because they are Arabs. At some point in our over reactions, Osama bin Laden wins.

Oil statistics at http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/petroleum_supply_annual/psa_volume1/current/pdf/table_21.pdf

Facts about UAE at

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://media.maps.com/magellan/Images/UAE-W1.gif&imgrefurl=http://yahooligans.yahoo.com/Around_the_World/Countries/United_Arab_Emirates/Maps/&h=481&w=517&sz=32&tbnid=KRlaJeWOJe4J:&tbnh=119&tbnw=128&prev=/images%3Fq%3Duae%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D&oi=imagesr&start=1

longeyes
February 26, 2006, 12:01 PM
Let me understand you:

Because a foreign nation is an "ally" we have to cede control of strategic interests to them, without oversight by Congress?

We are so beholden to oil-producing countries that we no longer have any leverage over our own security?

This is way too important a matter to be left to the likes of the U.S. Congress and Bush needs to affirm the impregnable power of the imperial Presidency and the Knights Templars at the State Dept.?

We are going to need that air base in the UAE when we attack Iran and if we don't allow the UAE to take over our ports, well, they won't cooperate and may wind up taken over themselves by a hostile Iran?

I think, RealGun, you have raised more questions than you've answered. For starters, one might want to question why so many American Presidents, including the Two Bushes, have avoided any sensible energy-independence policies over the last 30 years? Now we are being told, in effect, well, you know, we need friends and if those friends want in, we have to say okay, no matter what it is they want.

As for the U.S. State Dept. and the geniuses who run it, I think there are a lot of folks who might question their record over the last fifty years, wondering exactly whose interests they are protecting and whether they aren't more worried about foreign clients than their own nation.

longeyes
February 26, 2006, 12:14 PM
It is very simple actually. Everyone seems to ignore that UAE is an ally in good standing. If that status should be challenged, fine, but the entire diplomatic program is at risk when a country "in good standing" encounters blatant discrimination from the US. The charter of CFIUS includes preventing such discrimination.

The UAE has, we have all learned by now, a checkered record when it comes to dealing with terrorists and extremists. They endorse positions at odds with those of the American people. Let's not sentimentalize what is really an alliance of convenience. I am aware that the emirs have been very generous with their donations to certain Presidential libraries and their operational foundations, but that by itself does not, in my mind, make them "allies in good standing."

The intimation of racial prejudice is particularly galling and really, in the light of the entire picture, absurd in the extreme. I think the Bush administration has learned the language of the times very well; they know how to manipulate the concepts of political correctness when it suits their purposes. If you believe in cultural equivalency, then you will have no trouble ascribing "good standing" to nations that flagrantly violate the values of the Enlightenment and embracing them as trading partners. This is why we can advance liberty in one part of the world while having no problem importing huge amounts of products produced with slave labor. I prefer not to be so "open-minded."

RealGun
February 26, 2006, 01:39 PM
As far as I know, UAE is a trade and diplomatic status peer of the country which it is replacing (UK). The main difference is that DPW is state-owned, supposedly requiring use of the Byrd amendment to Exon-Florio, which calls for 45 day investigation. I say supposedly, because UAE is not acquiring US assets. They are LEASING the port operations. The argument is one of security, not of the effect on our economy.

The sticky part will come in telling UAE that they are disqualified for no good reason other than that they remind US citizens of Osama Bin Laden, who doesn't even come from UAE. The stock arguments against UAE are out-of-context cut and pastes from DU.

To me, this is not unlike adhering to the Constitution. You either make stuff up as you go along or you adhere to stated principles. If the outcome is that some countries need to be disqualified from full diplomatic and trading status because of support of terrorists or otherwise failing to meet criteria for allies of the first order, then the rules are being changed after the fact. We will also have to confront closing down operations of ports by other questionable countries, one of which is China in Los Angeles. This is hardly a move that a conservative would make. Better sell all your stocks now before the economy collapses.

Congress has it about right. From what I have heard and read, they are making no other proposals other than to insist upon the 45 day investigation, no doubt to include reports to applicable congressional committees. I also expect that Condi Rice will testify extensively about the consequences of killing this deal without adequate justification. Most of that will probably be in closed session, obviously with a need to be discreet rather airing all the comments in front of all foreign countries.

CAnnoneer
February 26, 2006, 01:39 PM
+1 longeyes

The rationalizations about "allies" are very weak. USSR had allies too, but they did not turn over Archangelsk, Vladivostok, Sevastopol, or Odesa to Czechoslovakia.

UAE are business partners at best. Giving them strategic control is a blatant vote (or veto) cast on the side of corporate globalism and against national security and national interests. A very troubling development in an administration with such strongly proclaimed devotion to national security.

After this fiasco, the Impostor must be left with a handful of only the most staunch supporters. Reagan is spinning in his grave...

longhorngunman
February 26, 2006, 01:54 PM
Realgun, give it a break. It's like wrestling a pig in the mud, pretty soon you realize the pig enjoys it:D . This whole Portgate event is a bunch of hooey. Pour in a little isolationism, a little Bush-hateing, pour in a little undo government distrust, pour in a little flat out racism, and add in some ignorance of the real facts of the matter and stur the pot and VOILA! You have the entire Portgate controversy.

longeyes
February 26, 2006, 02:19 PM
The way this pig sees it "Portgate" is but a symptom of something a lot deeper and far more dangerous. Promiscuous budget overruns, lack of a rational energy policy, a lack of interest in national sovereigny, a bottom-line-trumps-everything political philosophy, and overly cozy intercourse with foreign "friends" adds up to the incremental dismemberment of this Republic, the incremental sell-out of America to people who do not cherish our bedrock, fundamental cultural values . It's not just Bush; he's only the latest avatar of the problem. We are looking like an addict bouncing pathetically from dealer to dealer, each time telling a more desperate lie to get our fix. Getting straight is going to be painful.

longeyes
February 26, 2006, 02:25 PM
Longhorn', you got this one confused, I think, with Porkgate. And that's "sooeee" not hooey.

We mudders don't mind sticking our snouts where the truth really lives. Bush can run but he can't hide.

Biker
February 26, 2006, 02:35 PM
Longhorn...
Since you saw fit to play the race card, you might as well go all in and throw out xenophobe also.

A Very Muddy Biker

longeyes
February 26, 2006, 02:48 PM
If the UAE wants to do business here, I propose they build a high-speed rail line to Las Vegas from L.A. That we like.:D

Merkin.Muffley
February 26, 2006, 03:21 PM
This just gets better. Wasn't Chertoff (Bush's Wonder Lapdog) running around saying this deal wasn't a problem?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11562905/from/RS.4/

WASHINGTON - The Homeland Security Department objected at first to a United Arab Emirates company’s taking over significant operations at six U.S. ports. It was the lone protest among members of the government committee that eventually approved the deal without dissent.

The department’s early objections were settled later in the government’s review of the $6.8 billion deal after Dubai-owned DP World agreed to a series of security restrictions.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and other congressional leaders, the company and Bush administration officials were working on a compromise intended to derail plans by Republicans and Democrats for legislation next week that would force a new investigation of security issues relating to the deal. Talks were to continue through the weekend.

“My comfort level is good, but I have 99 other United States senators who need the opportunity to ask their questions,” Frist told the Lexington Herald-Leader before speaking at a Republican dinner Saturday evening in Lexington, Ky.

“We’re behind the president 100 percent,” he added. “We believe the decision in all likelihood is absolutely the right one.”

Under one proposal being discussed, DP World would seek new approval of the deal from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, given the company’s surprise decision Thursday to indefinitely postpone its takeover of U.S. port operations. Other proposals included a new, intensive 45-day review of the deal by the government — something the White House had refused to consider as recently as Friday.

Push for 45-day investigation
Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said discussions among congressional leaders centered on that issue. “It’s my understanding that they are trying to build support for a deal involving a new 45-day investigation,” he said.

Frist, R-Tenn., said that while legislation may not be necessary now, having “30 to 45 days” to step back and evaluate the deal still could be necessary.

“If there’s some question about the diagnosis, then maybe we need to get a second opinion,” said Frist, a former heart surgeon.

King, R-N.Y., said he would need to see all the details of a compromise before deciding if it met all of his concerns, or met the demands of the legislation he planned to offer.

Despite persistent criticism from Republicans and Democrats, the president has defended his administration’s approval of the ports deal and threatened to veto any measures in Congress that would block it. The company’s voluntary delay in taking over most operations at the six U.S. ports did little to quell a political furor or appease skeptical members of Congress that the deal does not pose any increased risks to the U.S. from terrorism. Republican House and Senate leaders are to meet Tuesday to discuss how to proceed.

Company declines comment
The company declined Saturday to discuss any potential compromise that may be in the works.

A DP World executive said the company would agree to tougher security restrictions to win congressional support only if the same restrictions applied to all U.S. port operators. The company earlier had struck a more conciliatory stance, saying it would do whatever Bush asked to salvage the agreement.

“Security is everybody’s business,” senior vice president Michael Moore told The Associated Press. “We’re going to have a very open mind to legitimate concerns. But anything we can do, any way to improve security, should apply to everybody equally.”

The administration approved the ports deal on Jan. 17 after DP World agreed during secret negotiations to cooperate with law enforcement investigations in the future and make other concessions.

Some lawmakers have challenged the adequacy of a classified intelligence assessment crucial to assuring the administration that the deal was proper. The report was assembled during four weeks in November by analysts working for the director of national intelligence.

The report concluded that U.S. spy agencies were “unable to locate any derogatory information on the company,” according to a person familiar with the document. This person spoke only on condition of anonymity because the report was classified.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and others have complained that the intelligence report focused only on information the agencies collected about DP World and did not examine reported links between UAE government officials and al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Shedding light on the process
The uproar over DP World has exposed how the government routinely approves deals involving national security without the input of senior administration officials or Congress.

President Bush, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and even Treasury Secretary John Snow, who oversees the government committee that approved the deal, all say they did not know about the purchase until after it was finalized. The work was done mostly by assistant secretaries.

Snow now says he may consider changes in the approval process so lawmakers are better alerted after such deals get the go-ahead.

Stewart Baker, a senior Homeland Security official, said he was the sole representative on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States who objected to the ports deal. Baker said he later changed his vote after DP World agreed to the security conditions. Other officials confirmed Baker’s account.

“We were not prepared to sign off on the deal without the successful negotiation of the assurances,” Baker told the AP.

Officials from the White House, CIA, departments of State, Treasury, Justices, and others looked for guidance from Homeland Security because it is responsible for seaports. “We had the most obvious stake in the process,” Baker said.

Audit not yet completed
Baker acknowledged that a government audit of security practices at the U.S. ports in the takeover has not been completed as part of the deal. “We had the authority to do an audit earlier,” Baker said.

The audit will help evaluate DP World’s security programs to stop smuggling and detect illegal shipments of nuclear materials at its seaport operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

The administration privately disclosed the status of the security audit to senators during meetings about improving reviews of future business deals involving foreign buyers. Officials did not suggest the audit’s earlier completion would have affected the deal’s approval.

New Jersey’s Democratic governor, who is suing to block the deal, said in his party’s weekly radio address on Saturday that the administration failed to properly investigate the UAE’s record on terrorism.

“We were told that the president didn’t know about the sale until after it was approved. For many Americans, regardless of party, this lack of disciplined review is unacceptable,” Jon Corzine said.

A federal judge in New Jersey has ordered the government to file a written response to Corzine’s suit by Monday and scheduled a hearing for Wednesday.

Bush’s national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said there was no going back on the deal.

Cosmoline
February 26, 2006, 03:57 PM
The spin doctors are working overtime on this one, and some of them are working right here on THR. But their rhetoric is getting more and more desperate. They've sunk to slinging "racist" allegations because we're picking on those poor multi-billionaire emirs who backed the Taliban. And they insinuate the Gulf States will stop selling us oil if we refuse to let the UAE run our ports. Of course these claims are absurd and insulting, but the administration is on the verge of collapse and like a drowning man if you get too close he'll try to pull you under.

I've absolutely had it with the Bush administration. I've been trying to find reasons to still back the man for six years now, but the reasons keep vanishing one after the other. He's destroyed what was left of the Reagan Revolution and has more in common with a bunch of sheiks than his own countrymen. He is his father's son.

RealGun
February 26, 2006, 05:53 PM
And they insinuate the Gulf States will stop selling us oil if we refuse to let the UAE run our ports. - Cosmoline

Notice from the article below that DPW said that further security provisions would be okay ONLY if they applied to all countries (all foreign run ports and future transactions). Worst case diplomatic scenarios should not be taken lightly.

Saudi Arabia asked the Air Force to leave the country some time ago. Are we to now invite UAE to decline to allow the Navy to use its ports? UAE has 200 ships registered in other countries. Suppose they decide that none of them were allowed to come here? We are a very minor oil customer for them, so that loss would likely not bother them at all. The point is not to have reasons to allow compromised security but to be sure any poor treatment of UAE is justified and to accept the consequences. Diplomatically we make compromises routinely all over the world.

Last question is who else would bid on running these ports and at what price?

longeyes
February 26, 2006, 06:39 PM
Cosmoline,

+1

RealGun,

I guess we've gotten to the real point, at least as you see it: The emirs have more power than we do. We need their oil, we need their ports, we need their airfields. Well, if we are planning more land wars and conventional air strikes and more entrenched military presence in the Middle East, that might be something to kick around in the tent for a while, but I don't buy these predicates. They need us every bit as much as we need them, and if push really comes to shove a real Commander-in-Chief will be dialing 1-800-T-R-I-D-E-N-T, not marching boots across trackless wastes and doing surgical air missions.

You have John Warner reading from the same script:

John Warner: 500 U.S. Warships Docked in Dubai

Former Navy Secretary, Sen. John Warner said Sunday that the United
Arab
Emirates, home to ports operating company slated to take over dozens of
U.S. shipping terminals, hosted hundreds of U.S. warships in 2005.

"We are using facilities in the UAE today, docking over 500 ships,
American
warships, last year," Warner told NBC's "Meet the Press."

The former top Navy man noted also that the U.S. is "using their air
fields
to perform support missions for both Afghanistan and Iraq."

Sen. Warner said the U.S. was dependent on countries like the UAE,
Qatar,
Bahrain, Kuwait "to give us the support to fight this war on
terrorism."

"We cannot mess this deal up," he urged.

The Virginia Republican said that while heightened concern over port
security was legitimate in a post-9/11 world, he reminded: "Also in our
hearts are the men and women of the armed forces. We need to continue
to
give them the support they need to finish this battle."

Saying that "the utilization of the facilities in UAE and the other
Arab
areas" is "absolutely essential," Warner posited: "If the UAE felt that
they're being mistreated and were to pull back that support, where
would it
shift?

"We know not," he added.

longeyes
February 26, 2006, 06:47 PM
Sen. Warner said the U.S. was dependent on countries like the UAE,
Qatar,
Bahrain, Kuwait "to give us the support to fight this war on
terrorism."

"We cannot mess this deal up," he urged.

If we were really interested in keeping this country strong and competitive we'd be spending the hundreds of billions of dollars we're throwing at Iraq on a crash program to build nuclear reactors in America--among other things. Apparently, we plan to fight the world to maintain the energy status quo. Well, good luck. This is a nation that has let the pursuit of pleasure permit us to be held hostage by foreign economies. If Bush were the fearless leader he likes to posture himself as he'd be telling Americans the unholy truth about what they are going to need to do to stay productive and competitive--and it's not to just keep on a-shoppin'.

RealGun
February 26, 2006, 07:35 PM
If Bush were the fearless leader he likes to posture himself as he'd be telling Americans the unholy truth about what they are going to need to do to stay productive and competitive--and it's not to just keep on a-shoppin'.

Actually his message of the week was energy independence.

longeyes
February 26, 2006, 07:56 PM
Actually his message of the week was energy independence.

In the words of the ancient sage: Talk is cheap.

Let's judge by actions.

How about, if we need a war metaphor, a War on Debt? Let's see Bush sell that to America. That would be a start. Tell John and Jill NOT to go shopping but to start saving. Who's going to finance their retirement? Illegal aliens from Latin America or the Asians who hold our paper?

RealGun
February 26, 2006, 08:49 PM
In the words of the ancient sage: Talk is cheap.

You're being argumentative. Bush is addressing your energy or energy related concerns but somehow there is always a reason why you don't like it. Talking up important issues, gaining support for initiatives, is his job. I think it just proves the point that some people want to be critical regardless. Address concerns in some way and they just move on to another issue.

longhorngunman
February 26, 2006, 09:10 PM
RealGun, some people are just not worth it, no biggie. When they go from talking about independence and minding our own business and then jump straight into using Nuclear Weapons on foreign countries to get what we want then it's quite easy to see their not worth argueing with. Si!:)

longeyes
February 26, 2006, 09:13 PM
Argumentative?

Bush has had five years to present a real energy-independence program. Where is it? Talk, especially in generalities, won't cut it.

He has had the same amount of time to present a legitimate border security program that is not a sop to Vicente Fox. I don't see it. All I see is a plan to vastly increase the importation of unskilled labor when we need the ability to compete globally.

He has had five years to offer a responsible budget that offers Americans the hard choices he keeps telling us we need to confront. As I said, we need a War on Debt.

If we stay on the same path we are on right now we are facing serious trouble in the not very distant future.

longeyes
February 26, 2006, 09:25 PM
RealGun, some people are just not worth it, no biggie. When they go from talking about independence and minding our own business and then jump straight into using Nuclear Weapons on foreign countries to get what we want then it's quite easy to see their not worth argueing with. Si!

I'm saying this: We'd better get our own house in order.

You boys take care now.

longeyes
February 26, 2006, 10:08 PM
The Big Spin is going to be that we absolutely, positively have to have the UAE on our side. Economically, militarily, Godknowswhatily. Bases, airfields, intell, good will, chi, you name it. We dare not say NO or not only the UAE but the Ummah entire will slap us down, call in their chits, stop funding Presidential libraries, all manner of horrors. They are doing us a favor, you see, by trading with us, don't you get it? Well, what I want to ask our President is this: "If we are really just a paper tiger, why, sir, haven't you told us this before now? Don't you think we should know...?"

Let's do a national reality check.

Good night and good luck.

CAnnoneer
February 26, 2006, 10:21 PM
RealGun, some people are just not worth it, no biggie. When they go from talking about independence and minding our own business and then jump straight into using Nuclear Weapons on foreign countries to get what we want then it's quite easy to see their not worth argueing with.

hehehehe...

I resemble that remark, and so will go ahead and clarify.

I do believe we should be independent, mind our own business, and stay the hell out of other countries. That is a valid strategy under most common conditions. However, under certain extreme circumstances, another strategy may become necessary. Such an overall stance does not involve internal inconsistency or intellectual dishonesty. Conditions dictate strategies. Anything else would be dealing in impractical absolutes.

RealGun
February 27, 2006, 06:22 AM
Oh well, this thread was OT from the beginning. Looks like we're done here.

LAK
February 27, 2006, 06:52 AM
The UAE is a British client state with token "independence" since 1971. As Washington has become a satellite of London a long time ago, Comrade Bush's nonchalance, then defiance, over the handing over of ports to these people comes as no surprize to me.

He ought to join his senior partner Comrade Blair in London where he belongs, take his ideological and corpororate cronies with him, and stay there. The only place he belongs in this country is a federal prison.

--------------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

LAK
February 27, 2006, 07:31 AM
Remember Al Kidya? Or still suffering from amnesia like half the nation?
The Central Intelligence Agency did not target Al Qaeda chief Osama bin laden once as he had the royal family of the United Arab Emirates with him in Afghanistan, the agency's director, George Tenet, told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States on Thursday.

Had the CIA targeted bin Laden, half the royal family would have been wiped out as well, he said"UAE royals, bin Laden's saviours" - March 25, 2004 12:04 IST

http://in.rediff.com/news/2004/mar/25osama.htm

-----------------------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

longhorngunman
February 27, 2006, 08:18 AM
And if you and that libtard article you linked to would have been intellectually honest you would have stated that the failed attack happened under Bill Clinton's watch, instead of trying to blame it on Bush. Dishonesty and not letting the facts get in the way of a good story seems to be the norm here:rolleyes: .

Biker
February 27, 2006, 09:14 AM
You're missing the point, Longhorn. UAE Royals plus Bin Laden equals bad for us.
Biker

Cosmoline
February 27, 2006, 09:18 AM
Are we to now invite UAE to decline to allow the Navy to use its ports? UAE has 200 ships registered in other countries. Suppose they decide that none of them were allowed to come here?

So we should go into the deal because if we don't the UAE will punish us? Have we become a nation of invertebrates all of a sudden? I find it deeply troublesome that we're making key security concessions because we're afraid of a tiny Arab nation that's supposedly our ally. If they were really our trusted ally, we wouldn't have to be worried about them retaliating against us!!

seeker_two
February 27, 2006, 12:06 PM
After two weeks (remember: this story came out just before Cheney filled his TX seasonal lawyer tag), I've finally deduced the only logical reason Bush would be so adamant in pushing for this port deal with the UAE......


...the Bush Family financial portfolio. :rolleyes:

Bill Clinton spent his second term trying to BUILD his legacy.... :barf:

George Bush is using his second term to FINANCE his (and his father's).... :banghead:

And I'm not worried about the UAE pulling their support in the War on Terror. If we lose their bases & ports, we still have Iraq. And we still have enough naval power and unused ICBM's that--even with conventional payloads--can deliver a lot of "peace" to the Middle East... :D

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